Challenging the standard portrayals of Black men in African American literature
From Frederick Douglass to the present, the preoccupation of black writers with manhood and masculinity is a constant. Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson explores how in their own work three major African American writers contest classic portrayals of black men in earlier literature, from slave narratives through the great novels of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.
Keith Clark examines short stories, novels, and plays by Baldwin, Gaines, and Wilson, arguing that since the 1950s the three have interrupted and radically dismantled the constricting literary depictions of black men who equate selfhood with victimization, isolation, and patriarchy. Instead, they have reimagined black men whose identity is grounded in community, camaraderie, and intimacy.
Delivering original and startling insights, this book will appeal to scholars and students of African American literature, gender studies, and narratology.
Cormac McCarthy told an interviewer for the New York Times Magazine that “books are made out of books,” but he has been famously unwilling to discuss how his own writing draws on the works of other writers. Yet his novels and plays masterfully appropriate and allude to an extensive range of literary works, demonstrating that McCarthy is well aware of literary tradition, respectful of the canon, and deliberately situating himself in a knowing relationship to precursors.
The Wittliff Collection at Texas State University acquired McCarthy’s literary archive in 2007. In Books Are Made Out of Books, Michael Lynn Crews thoroughly mines the archive to identify nearly 150 writers and thinkers that McCarthy himself references in early drafts, marginalia, notes, and correspondence. Crews organizes the references into chapters devoted to McCarthy’s published works, the unpublished screenplay Whales and Men, and McCarthy’s correspondence. For each work, Crews identifies the authors, artists, or other cultural figures that McCarthy references; gives the source of the reference in McCarthy’s papers; provides context for the reference as it appears in the archives; and explains the significance of the reference to the novel or play that McCarthy was working on. This groundbreaking exploration of McCarthy’s literary influences—impossible to undertake before the opening of the archive—vastly expands our understanding of how one of America’s foremost authors has engaged with the ideas, images, metaphors, and language of other thinkers and made them his own.
Thirteen scholars reexamine one of the most provocative and debated models of bureaucratic behavior, as developed by William A. Niskanen in his seminal book, Bureaucracy and Representative Government. The essays evaluate a wide array of findings, both qualitative and quantitative, relevant to the various aspects of the model, and offer conclusions about its merits and limits, suggesting alternative explanations of bureaucratic behavior. Niskanen provides his own reassessment and reflections on the debate.
“Children see and hear what is there; adults see and hear what they are expected to and mainly remember what they think they ought to remember,” David Lowenthal wrote in The Past Is a Foreign Country. It is on this fraught foundation that Fred Lanzing builds this memoir of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch colonialists in the East Indies during the World War II.
When published in the Netherlands in 2007, the book triggered controversy, if not vitriol, for Lanzing’s assertion that his time in the camp was not the compendium of horrors commonly associated with the Dutch internment experience. Despite the angry reception, Lanzing’s account corresponds more closely with the scant historical record than do most camp memoirs. In this way, Lanzing’s work is a substantial addition to ongoing discussions of the politics of memory and the powerful—if contentious—contributions that subjective accounts make to historiography and to the legacies of the past.
Lanzing relates an aspect of the war in the Pacific seldom discussed outside the Netherlands and, by focusing on the experiences of ordinary people, expands our understanding of World War II in general. His compact, beautifully detailed account will be accessible to undergraduate students and a general readership and, together with the introduction by William H. Frederick, is a significant contribution to literature on World War II, the Dutch colonial experience, the history of childhood, and Southeast Asian history.
From the 1960s to the 1990s the ground-breaking Japanese economists Kozo Uno and Thomas Sekine developed a masterful reconfiguration of Marxist economics. The most well-known aspect of which is the levels of analysis approach to the study of capitalism.
Written in Japanese, the Uno-Sekine approach to Marx's work is little understood in West. John Bell seeks to correct this, explaining how problematic elements of Marxian Political Economy such as the law of value and the law of relative surplus population can be solved by using a more rigorous dialectical analysis.
Bell's clear and accessible synthesis provides economists with the tools to interrogate capitalism in a more powerful way than ever before.
If philosophy has any business in the world, it is the clarification of our thinking and the clearing away of ideas that cloud the mind. In this book, one of the world's preeminent philosophers takes issue with an idea that has found an all-too-prominent place in popular culture and philosophical thought: the idea that while factual claims can be rationally established or refuted, claims about value are wholly subjective, not capable of being rationally argued for or against. Although it is on occasion important and useful to distinguish between factual claims and value judgments, the distinction becomes, Hilary Putnam argues, positively harmful when identified with a dichotomy between the objective and the purely "subjective."Putnam explores the arguments that led so much of the analytic philosophy of language, metaphysics, and epistemology to become openly hostile to the idea that talk of value and human flourishing can be right or wrong, rational or irrational; and by which, following philosophy, social sciences such as economics have fallen victim to the bankrupt metaphysics of Logical Positivism. Tracing the problem back to Hume's conception of a "matter of fact" as well as to Kant's distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic" judgments, Putnam identifies a path forward in the work of Amartya Sen. Lively, concise, and wise, his book prepares the way for a renewed mutual fruition of philosophy and the social sciences.
Cormac McCarthy is renowned as the author of popular and acclaimed novels such as Blood Meridian, All the Pretty Horses, and The Road. Throughout his career, however, McCarthy has also invested deeply in writing for film and theater, an engagement with other forms of storytelling that is often overlooked. He is the author of five screenplays and two plays, and he has been significantly involved with three of the seven film adaptations of his work. In this book, Stacey Peebles offers the first extensive overview of this relatively unknown aspect of McCarthy’s writing life, including the ways in which other artists have interpreted his work for the stage and screen.
Drawing on many primary sources in McCarthy’s recently opened archive, as well as interviews, Peebles covers the 1977 televised film The Gardener’s Son; McCarthy’s unpublished screenplays from the 1980s that became the foundation for his Border Trilogy novels and No Country for Old Men; various successful and unsuccessful productions of his two plays; and all seven film adaptations of his work, including John Hillcoat’s The Road (2009) and the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men (2007). Emerging from this narrative is the central importance of tragedy—the rich and varied portrayals of violence and suffering and the human responses to them—in all of McCarthy’s work, but especially his writing for theater and film.
Novelist Cormac McCarthy’s brilliant and challenging work demands deep engagement from his readers. In Cormac McCarthy’s House, author, painter, photographer, and actor-director Peter Josyph draws on a wide range of experience to pose provocative, unexpected questions about McCarthy’s work, how it is achieved, and how it is interpreted.
As a visual artist, Josyph wrestles with the challenge of rendering McCarthy’s former home in El Paso as a symbol of a great writer’s workshop. As an actor and filmmaker, he analyzes the high art of Tommy Lee Jones in The Sunset Limited and No Country for Old Men. Invoking the recent suicide of a troubled friend, he grapples with the issue of “our brother’s keeper” in The Crossing and The Sunset Limited. But for Josyph, reading the finest prose-poet of our day is a project into which he invites many voices, and his investigations include a talk with Mark Morrow about photographing McCarthy while he was writing Blood Meridian; an in-depth conversation with director Tom Cornford on the challenges of staging The Sunset Limited and The Stonemason; a walk through the streets, waterfronts, and hidden haunts of Suttree with McCarthy scholar and Knoxville resident Wesley Morgan; insights from the cast of The Gardener’s Son about a controversial scene in that film; actress Miriam Colon’s perspective on portraying the Dueña Alfonsa opposite Matt Damon in All the Pretty Horses; and a harsh critique of Josyph’s views on The Crossing by McCarthy scholar Marty Priola, which leads to a sometimes heated debate. Illustrated with thirty-one photographs, Josyph’s unconventional journeys into the genius of Cormac McCarthy form a new, highly personal way of appreciating literary greatness.
In the continuing redefinition of the American West, few recent writers have left a mark as indelible as Cormac McCarthy. A favorite subject of critics and fans alike despite—or perhaps because of—his avoidance of public appearances, the man is known solely through his writing. Thanks to his early work, he is most often associated with a bleak vision of humanity grounded in a belief in man's primordial aggressiveness.
McCarthy scholar Barcley Owens has written the first book to concentrate exclusively on McCarthy's acclaimed western novels: Blood Meridian, National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. In a thought-provoking analysis, he explores the differences between Blood Meridian and the Border Trilogy novels and shows how those differences reflect changing conditions in contemporary American culture.
Owens captures both Blood Meridian's wanton violence and the Border Trilogy's fond remembrance of the Old West. He shows how this dramatic shift from atavistic brutality to nostalgic Americana suggests that McCarthy has finally given his readers what they most want—the stuff of their mythic dreams.
Owens's study is both an incisive look at one of our most important and demanding authors and a penetrating analysis of violence and myth in American culture. Fans of McCarthy's work will find much to consider for ongoing discussions of this influential body of work.
A compelling study of unofficial postwar Soviet art, The Experimental Group takes as its point of departure a subject of strange fascination: the life and work of renowned professional illustrator and conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov.
Kabakov’s art—iconoclastic installations, paintings, illustrations, and texts—delicately experiments with such issues as history, mortality, and disappearance, and here exemplifies a much larger narrative about the work of the artists who rose to prominence just as the Soviet Union began to disintegrate. By placing Kabakov and his conceptualist peers in line with our own contemporary perspective, Matthew Jesse Jackson suggests that the art that emerged in the wake of Stalin belongs neither entirely to its lost communist past nor to a future free from socialist nostalgia. Instead, these artists and their work produced a critical and controversial chapter in the as yet unwritten history of global contemporary art.
In 1962, James Meredith famously desegregated the University of Mississippi (a.k.a. Ole Miss). As the first Black American admitted to the school, he demonstrated great courage amidst the subsequent political clashes and tragic violence. After President Kennedy summoned federal troops to help maintain order, the South—and America at large—would never be the same.
Man on a Mission depicts Meredith’s relentless pursuit of justice, beginning with his childhood in rural Mississippi and culminating with the confrontation at Ole Miss. A blend of historical research and creative inspiration, this graphic history tells Meredith’s dramatic story in his own singular voice.
From the dawn of the modern civil rights movement, Meredith has offered a unique perspective on democracy, racial equality, and the meaning of America. Man on a Mission presents his captivating saga for a new generation in the era of Black Lives Matter.
Doris Herrmann was born deaf in 1933 in Basel, Switzerland, and from the age of three, she possessed a mystical attraction to kangaroos. She recalls seeing them at that age for the first time at the Basel Zoo, and spending every spare moment visiting them from then on. Eventually, her fascination grew into passionate study of their behavior. Her dedication caught the attention of the zookeepers who provided her greater access to these extraordinary animals. Despite her challenges with communication, Herrmann wrote a scientific paper about the kangaroo’s pouch hygiene when raising a joey. Soon, experts from around the world came to visit this precocious deaf girl who knew about kangaroos.
Herrmann appreciated the opportunities opening up to her, but her real dream was to travel to Australia to study kangaroos in the wild. For years she worked and yearned, until Dr. Karl H. Winkelsträter a renowned authority on kangaroos, suggested an independent study in Australia at a place called Pebbly Beach. In 1969, at the age of 35, Herrmann finally traveled to the native land of kangaroos. During the next four decades, she would make many more trips to observe and write about kangaroos.
My Life with Kangaroos explores every facet of Herrmann’s connection to these engaging marsupials. Her single-minded devotion not only made her a leading self-made scholar on kangaroos, it transformed her own personality and her relationships with others. As she forged bonds with kangaroos named Dora, Jacqueline, Manuela, and many others, she engendered great affection and respect in the people around her, truly a remarkable story of success.
Once upon a time in Texas...there were liberal activists of various stripes who sought to make the state more tolerant and more tolerable. David Richards was one of them. In this fast-paced, often humorous memoir, he remembers the players, the strategy sessions, the legal and political battles, and the wins and losses that brought significant gains in civil rights, voter rights, labor law, and civil liberties to the people of Texas from the 1950s to the 1990s.
In his work as a lawyer, Richards was involved in cases covering voters' rights, school finance reform, and a myriad of civil liberties and free speech cases. In telling these stories, he vividly evokes the "glory days" of Austin liberalism, when a who's who of Texas activists plotted strategy at watering holes such as Scholz Garden and the Armadillo World Headquarters. Likewise, he offers vivid portraits of liberal politicians from Ralph Yarborough to Ann Richards (his former wife), progressive journalists such as Molly Ivins and the Texas Observer staff, and the hippies, hellraisers, and musicians who all challenged Texas's conservative status quo.
This is the first comprehensive play-by-play analysis of the drama of David Storey, one of the most acclaimed and innovative, sometimes controversial, writers in the British theatre since World War II. Grouping the plays according to theme, Hutchings demonstrates that the central focus in the drama of David Storey is the devaluation of traditional rituals in contemporary life and the disintegration of the family. A playwright attuned to the poetry in the ordinary, to the profundity, subtle eloquence, and dramatic tension in the mundane, Storey explores the ways people cope, or fail to cope, with complexity, with uncertainty, with constant, bewildering flux. He writes about groups—families (In Celebration, The Farm), rugby teams (The Changing Room), and construction crews (The Contractor). In his plays, individuals seek to overcome isolation and integrate themselves into a significant assemblage that transcends the self.
Hutchings notes that Storey frequently deals with working-class parents who cannot "understand their grown children’s anxieties, their discontentedness with life, their unstable marriages, and their inability to enjoy the benefits of the education and advantages they labored so hard for so many years to provide."
Storey understands and sympathizes with parents who have paid to educate their children out of their own spheres. He saw it happen in his own family, knew the disapproval of his father: "What else could my father think when, nearing sixty, he came home each day from the pit exhausted, shattered by fatigue, to find me—a young man ideally physically equipped to do the job which now left him totally prostrated—painting a picture of flowers, or writing a poem about a cloud. There was, and there is, no hope of reconciliation."
Hutchings supplements his thematic analysis of Storey’s plays by interweaving into his text 90 percent of a major interview with the playwright, the only such comprehensive interview in existence. Storey, who believes that readers "ought to be chary of all interviews," discusses alleged literary influences on his work, the current state of British theatre, and his reactions to critics. He also provides insight into various productions and performances in his work.
A revealing account of the three main disciples of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, an essential figure in Orthodox Judaism in America
Orthodox Judaism is one of the fastest-growing religious communities in contemporary American life. Anyone who wishes to understand more about Judaism in America will need to consider the tenets and practices of Orthodox Judaism: who its adherents are, what they believe in, what motivates them, and to whom they turn for moral, intellectual, and spiritual guidance.
Among those spiritual leaders none looms larger than Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, heir to the legendary Talmudic dynasty of Brisk and a teacher and ordainer of thousands of rabbis during his time as a Talmud teacher at Yeshiva University from the Second World War until the 1980s. Soloveitchik was not only a Talmudic authority but a scholar of Western philosophy. While many books and articles have been written about Soloveitchik’s legacy and his influence on American Orthodoxy, few have looked carefully at his disciples in Torah and Talmud study, and even fewer at his disciples in Jewish thought and philosophy.
Soloveitchik’s Children: Irving Greenberg, David Hartman, Jonathan Sacks, and the Future of Jewish Theology in America is the first book to study closely three of Soloveitchik’s major disciples in Jewish thought and philosophy: Rabbis Irving (“Yitz”) Greenberg, David Hartman, and Jonathan Sacks. Daniel Ross Goodman narrates how each of these three major modern Jewish thinkers learned from and adapted Soloveitchik’s teachings in their own ways, even while advancing his philosophical and theological legacy.
The story of religious life and Judaism in contemporary America is incomplete without an understanding of how three of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of this generation adapted the teachings of one of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of the previous generation. Soloveitchik’s Children tells this gripping intellectual and religious story in a learned and engaging manner, shining a light on where Jewish religious thought in the United States currently stands—and where it may be heading in future generations.
The values of literary naturalism at play in one of America’s most visionary novelists
It took six novels and nearly thirty years for Cormac McCarthy to find commercial success with the National Book Award–winning All the Pretty Horses, followed by major prizes, more best sellers, and Hollywood adaptations of his work. Those successes, though, have obscured McCarthy’s commitment to an older form of literary expression: naturalism.
It is hardly a secret that McCarthy’s work tends to darker themes: violence, brutality, the cruel indifference of nature, themes which would not be out of place in the writing of Jack London or Stephen Crane. But literary naturalism is more than the oversimplified Darwinism that many think of. Nature may be red in tooth and claw, and humans are part of nature, but the humanity depicted in naturalist literature is capable of love, selflessness, and spirituality, as well.
In Unguessed Kinships, Steven Frye illuminates all these dimensions of McCarthy’s work. In his novels and plays, McCarthy engages both explicitly and obliquely with the project of manifest destiny, in the western drama Blood Meridian, the Tennessee Valley Authority-era Tennessee novels, and the atomic frontier of Alamogordo in Cities of the Plain. McCarthy’s concerns are deeply religious and philosophical, drawing on ancient Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, and Nietzsche, among other sources. Frye argues for McCarthy not merely as a naturalist writer but as a naturalist in the most expansive sense. Unguessed Kinships includes biographical and historical context in each chapter, widening the appeal of the text to not just naturalists or McCarthy scholars but anyone studying the literature of the South or the West.
When the White House Calls tells the life story of John Price, one of Utah’s most prominent citizens, beginning with his birth in Germany through his years as a successful builder and real estate developer—with business interests in broadcasting, manufacturing, distribution, and banking—to his life as a diplomat. Born in Berlin on August 18, 1933, Hans Joachim Praiss was five years old when he and his family fled Nazi Germany in April 1939. The family found temporary refuge in Panama, finally arriving at Ellis Island in September 1940 and settling in New York City. Following the advice of a professor at CCNY, Price traveled west to fulfill a geology fieldwork course requirement, but upon seeing the snow-capped mountains surrounding Salt Lake City, knew he would stay. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Utah in 1956. He practiced in that field before tiring of the often rigorous travel requirements and the desolate nature of the work. He soon turned to new opportunities.
Years later, after operating successful business enterprises throughout the Intermountain region and nationally, and serving on numerous local, state, and national boards, Price had become the consummate entrepreneur, businessman, and community leader. He was ready to serve his country when the White House called. In February 2002 he was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Seychelles, and the Union of the Comoros, three Indian Ocean island nations off the east coast of Africa, where he served until 2005.
In this telling autobiography, John Price focuses on his years as an ambassador and includes his thoughts on the future of sub-Saharan Africa. The account of his service as a diplomat offers readers a view of the daily life of an ambassador—the protocol for official meetings with heads of state, the routine of the office, the process of handling official communications, and the intricacies of diplomacy. More than that, in a world concerned with the global war on terror, he reflects on the three island nations where he served and on the region’s increasing strategic importance to the national security of the United States.
In the years since the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the al-Qaeda movement has grown and its members have dispersed throughout the world, including the region known as the Horn of Africa and East Africa. Price calls attention to the vulnerability of sub-Saharan Africa as a haven for terrorists, and the critical need for our engagement of this desperate continent with economic development, health care, and education to counter this threat. His concern for this region of Africa is carefully articulated in the text, as well as in interviews (included as appendixes) with notable country leaders. When the White House Calls is a compelling story of the American Dream realized, and the importance of service to country. This is a book that will both educate and inspire young people, their mentors, and others, as they work to make a difference in the world.
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