Lawrence A. Coben University of Alabama Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS135.U43D543 2007 | Dewey Decimal 947.76
A rare view of a childhood in a European ghetto.
Anna Spector was born in 1905 in Korsun, a Ukrainian town on the Ros River, eighty miles south of Kiev. Held by Poland until 1768 and annexed by the Tsar in 1793 Korsun and its fluid ethnic population were characteristic of the Pale of Settlement in Eastern Europe: comprised of Ukrainians, Cossacks, Jews and other groups living uneasily together in relationships punctuated by violence. Anna’s father left Korsun in 1912 to immigrate to America, and Anna left in 1919, having lived through the Great War, the Bolshevik Revolution, and part of the ensuing civil war, as well as several episodes of more or less organized pogroms—deadly anti-Jewish riots begun by various invading military detachments during the Russian Civil War and joined by some of Korsun’s peasants.
In the early 1990s Anna met Lawrence A. Coben, a medical doctor seeking information about the shtetls to recapture a sense of his own heritage. Anna had near-perfect recall of her daily life as a girl and young woman in the last days in one of those historic but doomed communities. Her rare account, the product of some 300 interviews, is valuable because most personal memoirs of ghetto life are written by men. Also, very often, Christian neighbors appear in ghetto accounts as a stolid peasant mass assembled on market days, as destructive mobs, or as an arrogant and distant collection of government officials and nobility. Anna’s story is exceptionally rich in a sense of the Korsun Christians as friends, neighbors, and individuals.
Although the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe are now virtually gone, less than 100 years ago they counted a population of millions. The firsthand records we have from that lost world are therefore important, and this view from the underrecorded lives of women and the young is particularly welcome.
Until now it has been impossible to read the full story of the relationship between Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. Their dramatic rupture at the height of the Cold War, like that conflict itself, demanded those caught in its wake to take sides rather than to appreciate its tragic complexity. Now, using newly available sources, Ronald Aronson offers the first book-length account of the twentieth century's most famous friendship and its end.
Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre first met in 1943, during the German occupation of France. The two became fast friends. Intellectual as well as political allies, they grew famous overnight after Paris was liberated. As playwrights, novelists, philosophers, journalists, and editors, the two seemed to be everywhere and in command of every medium in post-war France. East-West tensions would put a strain on their friendship, however, as they evolved in opposing directions and began to disagree over philosophy, the responsibilities of intellectuals, and what sorts of political changes were necessary or possible.
As Camus, then Sartre adopted the mantle of public spokesperson for his side, a historic showdown seemed inevitable. Sartre embraced violence as a path to change and Camus sharply opposed it, leading to a bitter and very public falling out in 1952. They never spoke again, although they continued to disagree, in code, until Camus's death in 1960.
In a remarkably nuanced and balanced account, Aronson chronicles this riveting story while demonstrating how Camus and Sartre developed first in connection with and then against each other, each keeping the other in his sights long after their break. Combining biography and intellectual history, philosophical and political passion, Camus and Sartre will fascinate anyone interested in these great writers or the world-historical issues that tore them apart.
Hope Now: The 1980 Interviews
Jean-Paul Sartre and Benny Lévy University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress B2430.S34A5 1996 | Dewey Decimal 194
In March of 1980, just a month before Sartre's death, Le Nouvel Observateur published a series of interviews, the last ever given, between the blind and debilitated philosopher and his young assistant, Benny Levy. Readers were scandalized and denounced the interviews as distorted, inauthentic, even fraudulent. They seemed to portray a Sartre who had abandoned his leftist convictions and rejected his most intimate friends, including Simone de Beauvoir. This man had cast aside his own fundamental beliefs in the primacy of individual consciousness, the inevitability of violence, and Marxism, embracing instead a messianic Judaism. No, Sartre's supporters argued, it was his interlocutor, the ex-radical, the orthodox, ultra-right-wing activist who had twisted the words and thought of an ailing Sartre to his own ends. Or had he?
Shortly before his death, Sartre confirmed the authenticity of the interviews and their puzzling content. Over the past fifteen years, it has become the task of Sartre scholars to unravel and understand them. Presented in this fresh, meticulous translation, the interviews are framed by two provocative essays from Benny Levy himself, accompanied by a comprehensive introduction from noted Sartre authority Ronald Aronson. Placing the interviews in proper biographical and philosophical perspective, Aronson demonstrates that the thought of both Sartre and Levy reveals multiple intentions that taken together nevertheless confirm and add to Sartre's overall philosophy. This absorbing volume at last contextualizes and elucidates the final thoughts of a brilliant and influential mind.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1906-1980) was offered, but declined, the Nobel Prize for literature in 1964. His many works of fiction, drama, and philosophy include the monumental study of Flaubert, The Family Idiot, and The Freud Scenario, both published in translation by the University of Chicago Press.
Frank Marshall Davis was a prominent poet, journalist, jazz critic, and civil rights activist on the Chicago and Atlanta scene from the 1920s through 1940s. He was an intimate of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright and an influential editor at the Chicago Evening Bulletin, the Chicago Whip, the Chicago Star, and the Atlanta World. He renounced his writing career in 1948 and moved to Hawaii, forgotten until the Black Arts Movement rediscovered him in the 1960s.
Because of his early self-exile from the literary limelight, Davis's life and work have been shrouded in mystery. Livin' the Blues offers us a chance to rediscover this talented poet and writer and stands as an important example of black autobiography, similar in form, style, and message to those of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.
"Both a social commentary and intellectual exploration into African American life in the twentieth century."—Charles Vincent, Atlanta History
Victor Andrade, Bolivian ambassador to the United States at various times between 1944 and 1962, recounts a unique Latin American perspective on U.S. politics and foreign policy. He describes meetings with Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and with the many journalists, cabinet members, senators, and House members who were part of his daily work in the world of Washington politics.
Andrade first came to Washington as ambassador in 1944, representing a young revolutionary government determined to check the power of the Bolivian tin barons who had dominated the country for decades. After his government was overthrown, he spent six years in exile, and returned to Washington when the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario resumed power in 1952. His deep understanding of Washington's massive political and bureaucratic establishment, combined with his renowned charm, resourcefulness, and perseverance, gave him the ability to negotiate massive economic and military aid for the development of the country. It also allows him to present a candid, knowledgeable inside view of U.S.-Bolivian relations through these years which will at times make U.S. readers proud and at times ashamed.
Cornel West has called Myles Horton “an indescribably courageous and visionary white brother from Tennessee.” Horton (1905-1990) cofounded the Highlander Folk School (now known as the Highlander Research and Education Center), an institution controversial from its beginnings. During the early labor movement, the Highlander School sponsored programs for both union organizers and rank-and-file members; the staff of Highlander saw education as a way to approach and work through problems. Issues of race were always important to the school, which became a beacon for the civil rights movement; its summer institutes included such influential participants as Rosa parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Andrew young. His commitment to education as an agent of social change allowed Horton to see himself as both a teacher and a student, as one who could learn from others as well as help others learn. The Myles Horton Reader presents essays, speeches, and interviews, giving the reader a grounding in the pathbreaking work of an extraordinary man.
Christopher M. Bellitto Catholic University of America Press, 2012 Library of Congress BV600.3.R43 2012 | Dewey Decimal 262.0017
Now, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversaries of the publication of The Idea of Reform and the Second Vatican Council, Reassessing Reform explores and critiques the enduring significance of Ladner's study, surveying new avenues and insights of more recent reform scholarship, especially concerning the long Middle Ages.
Rediscovering Nancy Drew
Carolyn Stewart Dyer University of Iowa Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3545.I774Z87 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
"Rediscovering Nancy Drew is a rich collection of literary memories and insightful cultural comments."--Journal of Children's Literature
"Nancy, especially the Nancy of the original story, is our bright heroine, chasing down the shadows, conquering our worst fears, giving us a glimpse of our brave and better selves, proving to everybody exactly how admirable and wonderful a thing it is to be a girl. Thank you, Nancy Drew."--Nancy Pickard
"Nancy Drew belongs to a moment in feminist history; it is a moment, I suggest, that we celebrate, allowing ourselves the satisfaction of praising her for what she dared and forgiving her for what she failed to undertake or understand."--Carolyn G. Heilbrun
"Rediscovering Nancy Drew lights up the territory. It informs, delights, and acknowledges through love and scholarship a debt long overdue."--Dale H. Ross
In 1991, women staff and faculty at the University of Iowa discovered that the pseudonymous author of the original Nancy Drew books, Carolyn Keene, was none other than Mildred Wirt Benson, the first person to earn a master's degree in journalism at Iowa. The excitement caused by their discovery led to the 1993 Nancy Drew Conference, which explored the remarkable passion for Nancy Drew that spans a wide spectrum of American society. The result: a lively collaboration of essays by and interviews with mystery writers, collectors, publishers, librarians, scholars, journalists, and fans which presents a spirited, informative, totally enjoyable tribute to the driver of that blue roadster so many readers have coveted.
In this important book, Thomas R. Flynn reinterprets and evaluates Sartre's social and political philosophy, arguing that the existential ethics of Sartre's early phase is consistent with the Marxist-inspired views of his later writings. Displaying his mastery of Sartre's entire corpus, Flynn reconstructs Sartre's social ontology with its sensitive balance of the existentialist's respect for moral responsibility and the Marxist's sense of social causation. Flynn focuses on the issue of collective responsibility as a particularly apt test-case for assessing any proposed union of existentialist and Marxist perspectives.
The study begins with an examination of the uses of "responsibility" in Being and Nothingness and in several postwar essays. Flynn then concentrates on the Critique of Dialectical Reason, offering a thorough analysis of the remarkable social theory Sartre constructs there. A masterful contribution to Sartre scholarship, Sartre and Marxist Existentialism will be of great interest to social and political philosophers involved in the debate over collective responsibility.
Sartre and Foucault were two of the most prominent and at times mutually antagonistic philosophical figures of the twentieth century. And nowhere are the antithetical natures of their existentialist and poststructuralist philosophies more apparent than in their disparate approaches to historical understanding.
A history, thought Foucault, should be a kind of map, a comparative charting of structural transformations and displacements. But for Sartre, authentic historical understanding demanded a much more personal and committed narrative, a kind of interpretive diary of moral choices and risks compelled by critical necessity and an exacting reality. Sartre's history, a rational history of individual lives and their intrinsic social worlds, was in essence immersed in biography.
In Volume One of this authoritative two-volume work, Thomas R. Flynn conducts a pivotal and comprehensive reconstruction of Sartrean historical theory, and provocatively anticipates the Foucauldian counterpoint to come in Volume Two.
Novelist and essayist Hilary Masters recreates a moment in 1940s Pittsburgh when circumstances, ideology, and a passion for the arts collided to produce a masterpiece in another part of the world.
E. J. Kaufmann, the so-called "merchant prince" who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, was a man whose hunger for beauty included women as well as architecture.
He had transformed his family's department store into an art deco showcase with murals by Boardman Robinson and now sought to beautify the walls of the YM&WHA of which he was the president. Through his son E. J. Kaufmann, jr (the son preferred the lowercase usage), he met Juan O'Gorman, a rising star in the Mexican pantheon of muralists dominated by Diego Rivera, O'Gorman's friend and mentor.
O'Gorman and his American wife spent nearly six months in Pittsburgh at Kaufmann's invitation while the artist researched the city's history and made elaborate cartoons for the dozen panels of the proposed mural. Like Rivera, O'Gorman was an ardent Marxist whose views of society were radically different from those of his host, not to mention the giants of Pittsburgh's industrial empire-Carnegie, Frick, and Mellon. The murals were never painted, but why did Kaufmann commission O'Gorman in the first place? Was it only a misunderstanding?
In the discursive manner for which his fiction and essays are noted, Masters pulls together the skeins of world events, the politics of art patronage, and the eccentric personalities and cruel histories of the period into a pattern that also includes the figures of O'Gorman and his wife Helen, and Kaufmann, his wife Liliane, and their son. Masters traces the story through its many twists and turns to its surprising ending: E. J. Kaufmann's failure to put beautiful pictures on the walls of the Y in Pittsburgh resulted in Juan O'Gorman's creation of a twentieth-century masterpiece on a wall in the town of Pátzcuaro, Mexico.