Adiós Muchachos is a candid insider’s account of the leftist Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. During the 1970s, Sergio Ramírez led prominent intellectuals, priests, and business leaders to support the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), against Anastasio Somoza’s dictatorship. After the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza regime in 1979, Ramírez served as vice-president under Daniel Ortega from 1985 until 1990, when the FSLN lost power in a national election. Disillusioned by his former comrades’ increasing intolerance of dissent and resistance to democratization, Ramírez defected from the Sandinistas in 1995 and founded the Sandinista Renovation Movement. In Adiós Muchachos, he describes the utopian aspirations for liberation and reform that motivated the Sandinista revolution against the Somoza regime, as well as the triumphs and shortcomings of the movement’s leadership as it struggled to turn an insurrection into a government, reconstruct a country beset by poverty and internal conflict, and defend the revolution against the Contras, an armed counterinsurgency supported by the United States. Adiós Muchachos was first published in 1999. Based on a later edition, this translation includes Ramírez’s thoughts on more recent developments, including the re-election of Daniel Ortega as president in 2006.
Much has been written about America’s war in Vietnam, and an enduring and troubling subtext is the composition of the body of soldiers that made up the U.S. troop deployment: from the initially well-trained and disciplined group of largely elite units that served in the mid-sixties to what has been termed an “armed mob” by the end of that decade and into the early 1970s. Drug use, insubordination, racial antagonism that often became violent, theft and black market dealing, and even “fragging” (murder of officers and senior noncoms by disgruntled troops) marred the record of the U.S. military presence. Don Griffis served in the twin roles of legal officer charged at various times with the task of both defending and prosecuting servicemen, while at the same time leading combat patrols in “search and destroy” missions against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemy. Eagle Days is a remarkable account of Griffis’ personal record of experiencing what the military should do best—meet, engage, and defeat the enemy—and what it becomes when esprit de corps, discipline, and a sense of purpose decay.
Early in her tenure as president of Mount Holyoke College, Joanne V. Creighton faced crises as students staged protests and occupied academic buildings; the alumnae association threatened a revolt; and a distinguished professor became the subject of a major scandal. Yet Creighton weathered each storm, serving for nearly fifteen years in office and shepherding the college through a notable revitalization.
In her autobiography, The Educational Odyssey of a Woman College President, Creighton situates her tenure at Mount Holyoke within a life and career that have traversed breathtaking changes in higher education and social life. Having held multiple roles in academia spanning undergraduate, professor, and president, Creighton served at small colleges and large public universities and experienced the dramatic changes facing women across the academy. From her girlhood in Wisconsin to the presidency of a storied women's college, she bears witness to the forces that have reshaped higher education for women and continues to advocate for the liberal arts and sciences.
In August 1995 David Kaczynski's wife Linda asked him a difficult question: "Do you think your brother Ted is the Unabomber?" He couldn't be, David thought. But as the couple pored over the Unabomber's seventy-eight-page manifesto, David couldn't rule out the possibility. It slowly became clear to them that Ted was likely responsible for mailing the seventeen bombs that killed three people and injured many more. Wanting to prevent further violence, David made the agonizing decision to turn his brother in to the FBI.
Every Last Tie is David's highly personal and powerful memoir of his family, as well as a meditation on the possibilities for reconciliation and maintaining family bonds. Seen through David's eyes, Ted was a brilliant, yet troubled, young mathematician and a loving older brother. Their parents were supportive and emphasized to their sons the importance of education and empathy. But as Ted grew older he became more and more withdrawn, his behavior became increasingly erratic, and he often sent angry letters to his family from his isolated cabin in rural Montana.
During Ted's trial David worked hard to save Ted from the death penalty, and since then he has been a leading activist in the anti–death penalty movement. The book concludes with an afterword by psychiatry professor and forensic psychiatrist James L. Knoll IV, who discusses the current challenges facing the mental health system in the United States as well as the link between mental illness and violence.
Fatherless: A Memoir
Keith Maillard West Virginia University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PR9199.3.M345Z46 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
This story begins with a phone call out of the blue: a lawyer tells a writer that his ninety-six-year-old father, with whom he has had no contact since the age of three and whom he has twice tried to find without success, has just died, leaving him nothing. Half-reluctant, half-fascinated, both angry and curious, Keith Maillard begins to research his father’s life. The result is a suspenseful work of historical reconstruction—a social history often reading like a detective story—as well as a psychologically acute portrait of the impact of a father’s absence. Walking a tightrope between the known and the unknown, and following a trail that takes him from Vancouver to Montreal to his native Wheeling, West Virginia, Keith Maillard has pulled off a book that only a novelist of his stature could write.
Over the course of his career Werner Herzog, known for such visionary masterpieces as Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), has directed almost sixty films, roughly half of which are documentaries. And yet, in a statement delivered during a public appearance in 1999, the filmmaker declared: “There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.” Ferocious Reality is the first book to ask how this conviction, so hostile to the traditional tenets of documentary, can inform the work of one of the world’s most provocative documentarians.
Herzog, whose Cave of Forgotten Dreams was perhaps the most celebrated documentary of 2010, may be the most influential filmmaker missing from major studies and histories of documentary. Examining such notable films as Lessons of Darkness (1992) and Grizzly Man (2005), Eric Ames shows how Herzog dismisses documentary as a mode of filmmaking in order to creatively intervene and participate in it. In close, contextualized analysis of more than twenty-five films spanning Herzog’s career, Ames makes a case for exploring documentary films in terms of performance and explains what it means to do so. Thus his book expands the field of cinema studies even as it offers an invaluable new perspective on a little studied but integral part of Werner Herzog’s extraordinary oeuvre.
"Mayor Richard M. Daley dropped the bomb at a routine news conference at City Hall on Tuesday. With no prelude or fanfare, Mr. Daley announced that he would not seek re-election when his term expires next year. 'Simply put, it's time,' he said." New York Times, September 7, 2010
With those four words, an era ended. After twenty-two years, the longest-serving and most powerful mayor in the history of Chicago—and, arguably, America—stepped down, leaving behind a city that was utterly transformed, and a complicated legacy we are only beginning to evaluate.
In First Son, Keith Koeneman chronicles the sometimes Shakespearean, sometimes Machiavellian life of an American political legend. Making deft use of unprecedented access to key players in the Daley administration, as well as Chicago's business and cultural leaders, Koeneman draws on more than one hundred interviews to tell an up-close, insider story of political triumph and personal evolution.
With Koeneman as our guide, we follow young Daley from his beginnings as an average Bridgeport kid thought to lack his father's talent and charisma to his unlikely transformation into an iron-fisted leader. Daley not only escaped the giant shadow of his father but also transformed Chicago from a gritty, post-industrial Midwestern capital into a beautiful, sophisticated global city widely recognized as a model for innovative metropolises throughout the world.
But in spite of his many accomplishments, Richard M. Daley's record is far from flawless. First Son sets the dramatic improvement of certain parts of the city against the persistent realities of crime, financial stress , failing public housing, and dysfunctional schools. And it reveals that while in many ways Daley broke with the machine politics of his father, he continued to reward loyalty with favors, use the resources of city government to overwhelm opponents, and tolerate political corruption.
A nuanced portrait of a complex man, First Son shows Daley to be sensitive yet tough, impatient yet persistent, a street-smart fighter and detail-driven policy expert who not only ran Chicago, but was Chicago.
Good Vibrations brings together scholars with a variety of expertise, from music to cultural studies to literature, to assess the full extent of the contributions to popular culture and popular music of one the most successful and influential pop bands of the twentieth century. The book covers the full fifty-year history of the Beach Boys’ music, from essays on some of the group’s best-known music—such as their hit single “Good Vibrations” —to their mythical unfinished masterpiece, Smile. Throughout, the book places special focus on the individual whose creative vision brought the whole enterprise to life, Brian Wilson, advancing our understanding of his gifts as a songwriter, arranger, and producer.
The book joins a growing body of literature on the popular music of the 1960s, in general, and on Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in particular. But Good Vibrations extends the investigation further and deeper than it has gone before, not only offering new understanding and insights into individual songs and albums, but also providing close examination of compositional techniques and reflections on the group’s place in American popular culture.
These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking.
Drawing on an extensive and in-depth series of interviews with Hawking, his assistants and colleagues, physicists, engineers, writers, journalists, archivists, and artists, Mialet reconstructs the human, material, and machine-based networks that enable Hawking to live and work. She reveals how Hawking—who is often portrayed as the most singular, individual, rational, and bodiless of all—is in fact not only incorporated, materialized, and distributed in a complex nexus of machines and human beings like everyone else, but even more so. Each chapter focuses on a description of the functioning and coordination of different elements or media that create his presence, agency, identity, and competencies. Attentive to Hawking’s daily activities, including his lecturing and scientific writing, Mialet’s ethnographic analysis powerfully reassesses the notion of scientific genius and its associations with human singularity. This book will fascinate anyone interested in Stephen Hawking or an extraordinary life in science.
Herzog by Ebert
Roger Ebert University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1998.3.H477E24 2017 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Roger Ebert was the most influential film critic in the United States, the first to win a Pulitzer Prize. For almost fifty years, he wrote with plainspoken eloquence about the films he loved for the Chicago Sun-Times, his vast cinematic knowledge matched by a sheer love of life that bolstered his appreciation of films. Ebert had particular admiration for the work of director Werner Herzog, whom he first encountered at the New York Film Festival in 1968, the start of a long and productive relationship between the filmmaker and the film critic.
Herzog by Ebert is a comprehensive collection of Ebert’s writings about the legendary director, featuring all of his reviews of individual films, as well as longer essays he wrote for his Great Movies series. The book also brings together other essays, letters, and interviews, including a letter Ebert wrote Herzog upon learning of the dedication to him of “Encounters at the End of the World;” a multifaceted profile written at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival; and an interview with Herzog at Facet’s Multimedia in 1979 that has previously been available only in a difficult-to-obtain pamphlet. Herzog himself contributes a foreword in which he discusses his relationship with Ebert.
Brimming with insights from both filmmaker and film critic, Herzog by Ebert will be essential for fans of either of their prolific bodies of work.
A Vietnam War combat memoir from the perspective of an artilleryman.
Impact Zone documents Marine First Lieutenant James S. Brown's intense battle experiences, including those at Khe Sanh and Con Thien, throughout his thirteen months of service on the DMZ during 1967-68. This high-action account also reflects Brown's growing belief that the Vietnam War was mis-fought due to the unproductive political leadership of President Johnson and his administration. Brown's naiveté developed into hardening skepticism and cynicism as he faced the harsh realities of war, though he still managed to retain a sense of honor, pride, and patriotism for his country.
Impact Zone is a distinctive book on the Vietnam War because it is told from the perspective of an artilleryman, and the increasingly dangerous events gain momentum as they progress from one adventure to the next. Impact Zone is not only an important historical document of the Vietnam conflict, but also a moving record of the personal and emotional costs of war.
Alan Hurwitz ascended the ranks of academia to become the president of not one, but two, universities—National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology and Gallaudet University. In Let’s Go In: My Journey to a University Presidency, Hurwitz discusses the unique challenges he encountered as a Deaf person, and the events, people, and experiences that shaped his personal and professional life. He demonstrates the importance of building a strong foundation for progressive leadership roles in higher education, and provides insights into the decision-making and outreach required of a university president, covering topics such as community collaboration, budget management, and networking with public policy leaders. He also stresses that assessing students’ needs should be a top priority. As he reflects on a life committed to service in higher education, Hurwitz offers up important lessons on the issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by deaf and hard of hearing people, and in doing so, inspires future generations of deaf people to aim for their highest goals.
During the Khmer Rouge's brutal reign in Cambodia during the mid-to-late 1970s, a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In 2009 Duch stood trial for these crimes against humanity. While the prosecution painted Duch as evil, his defense lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. In Man or Monster? Alexander Hinton uses creative ethnographic writing, extensive fieldwork, hundreds of interviews, and his experience attending Duch's trial to create a nuanced analysis of Duch, the tribunal, the Khmer Rouge, and the after-effects of Cambodia's genocide. Interested in how a person becomes a torturer and executioner as well as the law's ability to grapple with crimes against humanity, Hinton adapts Hannah Arendt's notion of the "banality of evil" to consider how the potential for violence is embedded in the everyday ways people articulate meaning and comprehend the world. Man or Monster? provides novel ways to consider justice, terror, genocide, memory, truth, and humanity.
Peter Brunette University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1998.3.H36B78 2010
In this book, Peter Brunette analyzes the theatrical releases of Austrian film director Michael Haneke, including The White Ribbon, winner of the 2009 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps best known to U.S. audiences for Caché, The Piano Teacher, and his remake of his own disturbing Funny Games, Haneke has consistently challenged critics and film viewers to consider their own responsibility for what they watch when they seek to be "merely" entertained by such studio-produced Hollywood thrillers.
Brunette highlights Haneke's brilliant use of uncompromising visual and aural techniques to express complex themes. His most recent films contain what has become his hallmark: a moment of violence or shock that is not intended to be exploitative, but that nevertheless goes beyond the conventional boundaries of most art cinema. Lauded for graphically revealing the powerful influence of contemporary media on social behavior, his films offer a chilling critique of contemporary consumer society. Brunette discusses Haneke's major releases in English, French, and German, including the film that first brought him to international attention, Benny's Video. The first full-length study of Haneke's work in any language, this book also includes an interview with the director that explores his motivations and methods.
The two primary goals of this ambitious study are to provide a new framework in which to interpret the films of Michael Haneke, including Funny Games, Caché, and others, and to show how the concept of intermediality can be used to expand the possibilities of film and media studies, tying the two more closely together. Christopher Rowe argues that Haneke’s practice of introducing nonfilmic media into his films is not simply an aspect of his interest in society’s oversaturation in various forms of media. Instead, the use of video, television, photography, literary voice, and other media must be understood as modes of expression that fundamentally oppose the film medium itself. The “intermedial void” is a product of the absolute incommensurability of these media forms as perceptual and affective phenomena. Close analysis of specific films shows how their relationship to noncinematic media transforms the nature of the film image, and of film spectatorship.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) has always engendered an emotional reaction from the public. From his appearance as an Olympic champion to his iconic status as a national hero, his carefully constructed image and controversial persona has always been intensely scrutinized. In Muhammad Ali, Michael Ezra considers the boxer who calls himself “The Greatest” from a new perspective. He writes about Ali’s pre-championship bouts, the management of his career and his current legacy, exploring the promotional aspects of Ali and how they were wrapped up in political, economic, and cultural “ownership.”
Ezra’s incisive study examines the relationships between Ali’s cultural appeal and its commercial manifestations. Citing examples of the boxer’s relationship to the Vietnam War and the Nation of Islam—which serve as barometers of his “public moral authority”—Muhammad Ali analyzes the difficulties of creating and maintaining these cultural images, as well as the impact these themes have on Ali’s meaning to the public.
As its title implies, this book reflects in varying ways the experiences and attitudes of one who came of age in the first half of that now mythical decade, the 1960s. In an unusual combination of history, criticism, and autobiography, one of our best literary and cultural critics explores life and death in the late twentieth century and some of the older worlds that made American culture what it is today.
Sixties survivors, as Christopher Clausen points out, do not necessarily hold more beliefs or tastes in common than any other group. Nevertheless they may be more likely than most people born earlier or later to consider the relations between public and private life—the political and the personal—a problem, sometimes even an unresolvable problem. While this is not primarily a book about the 1960s, most of it occupies the noisy crossroads where public worlds intersect the private, mysterious lives of individuals and families, where ordinary people pursue their own destinies and desires while submitting consciously or unconsciously to the pressures of the public sphere—a set of demands or aspirations common to people in a particular time and place.
In modern America, where most of these essays are set, any individual is likely to live in several worlds at any given moment, as well as to pass through several more over a lifetime. Because of rapid transitions in public life and culture while they were still at an impressionable age, members of the “Kennedy generation” became almost morbidly conscious of the persistence of the past in the present. The often unpredictable effect on individual lives of historical forces is the main subject of Clausen's fascinating account.
The Nude Beach Notebook
Barbara J. Scot Oregon State University Press, 2014 Library of Congress F882.S3S36 2014 | Dewey Decimal 979.549
In this engaging new memoir, a loose sequel to her earlier Prairie Reunion, Barbara Scot explores her reluctance and longing to reconnect with a much-loved brother, lost to alcoholism for thirty years.
Scot uses long, meditative walks on the “clothing optional” beach of the idyllic Sauvie Island near Portland, Oregon, to explore family responsibility, time’s passage, and faith. She weaves entries from her notebook—a record of the island’s wildlife, descriptions of the “Odd Ones” she encounters on the beach, and stories about the native people who once lived on the river—with the main narrative, tracing her search for her brother, her close friendship with a fellow writer, and daily life on the houseboat moorage where she lives.
The Nude Beach Notebook highlights the importance of place as a means for exploring and interpreting one’s own story. In the end, Scot’s walks on Sauvie Island lead to her own redemptive journey. She considers the uses of fiction and non-fiction in memory and in writing, the brevity and beauty of human existence, and the inscrutable, enduring mystery of death.
Appearing for the first time outside of Cuba, this bold collection of short stories provides an intimate and critical view of Afro-Cuba. Inés María Martiatu’s stories—presented in a unique "split" English/Spanish edition—span postcolonial Cuba of the early twentieth century, the First Republic, the “victorious revolution,” and contemporary life in the streets of Havana. Taking real risks as an Afro-Cubana, Martiatu confronts conflicts about identity, race, marginalization, and discrimination.
The history of the Caribbean, as part of the African diaspora, is reflected in the textures of life in Cuba, its music, rituals and myths, the Church and Santería, past and present. While race is unquestionably fundamental to the stories, they are at the same time rooted in the universality of the human experience. The vantage is that of an unflinching, yet compassionate observer of society—one who simultaneously turns an introspective mirror on the complicated layers of self.
The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben is having an increasingly significant impact on Anglo-American political theory. His most prominent intervention to date is the powerful reassessment of sovereignty and the politics of life and death laid out in his multivolume Homo Sacer project. Agamben argues that in both the modern world and the ancient, politics inevitably involves a sovereign decision that bans some individuals from the political and human communities. For Agamben, the Nazi concentration camps—in which some inmates are reduced to a form of living death—are not a political aberration but instead the place where this essential political decision about life most clearly reveals itself. Engaging specifically with Homo Sacer, the essays in this collection draw out and contend with the wide-ranging implications of Agamben’s radical and controversial interpretation of modern political life.
The contributors analyze Agamben’s thought from the perspectives of political theory, philosophy, jurisprudence, and the history of law. They consider his work not only in relation to that of his major interlocutors—Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Heidegger—but also in relation to the thought of Plato, Pindar, Heraclitus, Descartes, Kafka, Bataille, and Derrida. The essayists’ approaches are varied, as are their ultimate evaluations of the cogency and accuracy of Agamben’s arguments. This volume also includes an original essay by Agamben in which he considers the relation of Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence” to Schmitt’s Political Theology. Politics, Metaphysics, and Death is a necessary, multifaceted exposition and evaluation of the thought of one of today’s most important political theorists.
Contributors: Giorgio Agamben, Andrew Benjamin, Peter Fitzpatrick, Anselm Haverkamp, Paul Hegarty, Andreas Kalyvas, Rainer Maria Kiesow , Catherine Mills, Andrew Norris, Adam Thurschwell, Erik Vogt, Thomas Carl Wall
“Playing in an orchestra in an intelligent way is the best school for democracy.”—Daniel Barenboim
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been led by a storied group of conductors. And from 1994 to 2015, through the best work of Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, and Riccardo Muti, Andrew Patner was right there. As a classical music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and WFMT radio, Patner was able to trace the arc of the CSO’s changing repertories, all while cultivating a deep rapport with its four principal conductors.
This book assembles Patner’s reviews of the concerts given by the CSO during this time, as well as transcripts of his remarkable radio interviews with these colossal figures. These pages hold tidbits for the curious, such as Patner’s “driving survey” that playfully ranks the Maestri he knew on a scale of “total comfort” to “fright level five,” and the observation that Muti appears to be a southpaw on the baseball field. Moving easily between registers, they also open revealing windows onto the sometimes difficult pasts that brought these conductors to music in the first place, including Boulez’s and Haitink’s heartbreaking experiences of Nazi occupation in their native countries as children. Throughout, these reviews and interviews are threaded together with insights about the power of music and the techniques behind it—from the conductors’ varied approaches to research, preparing scores, and interacting with other musicians, to how the sound and personality of the orchestra evolved over time, to the ways that we can all learn to listen better and hear more in the music we love. Featuring a foreword by fellow critic Alex Ross on the ethos and humor that informed Patner’s writing, as well as an introduction and extensive historical commentary by musicologist Douglas W. Shadle, this book offers a rich portrait of the musical life of Chicago through the eyes and ears of one of its most beloved critics.
Barbara J. Scot University of Iowa Press, 2000 Library of Congress F629.S39S36 2000 | Dewey Decimal 977.763
“What do you think? You don't understand. You'll never know how much. ” Barbara Scot's memoir begins with a trunk full of memories and her mother's cryptic letters about a marriage unraveling. Like a mystery detective, the author searches for the truth, which takes her back to the scene of a tragedy—to the farm her family lost and the close-knit and secretive community she left behind. In uncovering the secrets of her family, Scot comes to understand her own failed marriage.
Adrian Johnston’s trilogy Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism aims to forge a thoroughly materialist yet antireductive theory of subjectivity. In this second volume, A Weak Nature Alone, Johnston focuses on the philosophy of nature required for such a theory. This volume is guided by a fundamental question: How must nature be rethought so that human minds and freedom do not appear to be either impossible or inexplicable within it? Asked differently: How must the natural world itself be structured such that sapient subjects in all their distinctive peculiarities emerged from and continue to exist within this world?
In A Weak Nature Alone, Johnston develops his transcendental materialist account of nature through engaging with and weaving together five main sources of inspiration: Hegelian philosophy, Marxist materialism, Freudian-Lacanian metapsychology, Anglo-American analytic neo-Hegelianism, and evolutionary theory and neurobiology. Johnston argues that these seemingly (but not really) strange bedfellows should be brought together so as to construct a contemporary ontology of nature. Through this ontology, nonnatural human subjects can be seen to arise in an immanent, bottom-up fashion from nature itself.
Ownership battles over the marbles removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin have been rumbling into invective, pleading, and counterclaims for two centuries. The emotional temperature around them is high, and steering across the vast past to safe anchor in a brilliant heritage is tricky. The stories around antiquities become distorted by the pull of ownership, and it is these stories that urge Patricia Vigderman into her own exploration of their inspiring legacy in her compelling extended essay, The Real Life of the Parthenon.
Vigderman’s own journey began at the Parthenon, but curiosity edged her further onto the sea between antiquity and the present. She set out to seek the broken temples and amphorae, the mysterious smiles of archaic sculpture, and the finely hammered gold of a funeral wreath among the jumbled streets of modern Athens, the fertile fields of Sicily, the mozzarella buffalo of Paestum. Guided along the way toward the enduring landscapes and fractured history by archeologists, classicists, historians, and artists—and by the desire they inspire—she was caught by ongoing, contemporary local life among the ruins. Gathering present meaning and resonance for the once and future remains of vanished glory, The Real Life of the Parthenon illuminates an important but shadowy element of our common cultural life: the living dynamic between loss and delight.
Red, White, Black, and Blue began as a collaborative memoir by William M. “Bill” Drennen, a European American, and Kojo (William T.) Jones, an African American. These Appalachian men grew up in the South Hills section of Charleston, West Virginia. As boys they played on the same Little League baseball team and experienced just one year together as schoolmates after the all-white Thomas Jefferson Junior High School was desegregated in 1955. After that, class, race, and choice separated their life experiences for forty-five years.
In 1992 both had returned to Charleston from lives mostly lived elsewhere. They decided to work together on a memoir of growing up through the trauma of desegregation. Their aim was to foster understanding between their distinct cultures for themselves and for their own and future generations. Dolores Johnson, in editing the two texts, observed two very different modes of expression: Bill Drennen's narrative is threaded with references that connote wealth, status, and personal privilege; Kojo Jones's memoir is interwoven with African American signification, protest, and moral outrage.
The stories of their Appalachian upbringing in homes less than a mile apart are anecdotal in nature, but their diverse uses of the English language as they endeavor to communicate shared memories and common meanings reveal significant cultural connotations that transform standard American English into two different languages, rendering interracial communication problematic. Dr. Johnson's analysis is to the point.
Red, White, Black, and Blue is a groundbreaking approach to studying not only cultural linguistics but also the cultural heritage of a historic time and place in America. It gives witness to the issues of race and class inherent in the way we write, speak, and think.
Roy Cape is a Trinidadian saxophonist active as a band musician for more than fifty years and as a bandleader for more than thirty. He is known throughout the islands and the Caribbean diasporas in North America and Europe. Part ethnography, part biography, and part Caribbean music history, Roy Cape is about the making of reputation and circulation, and about the meaning of labor and work ethics. An experiment in storytelling, it joins Roy's voice with that of ethnomusicologist Jocelyne Guilbault. The idea for the book emerged from an exchange they had while discussing Roy's journey as a performer and bandleader. In conversation, they began experimenting with voice, with who takes the lead, who says what, when, to whom, and why. Their book reflects that dynamic, combining first-person narrative, dialogue, and the polyphony of Roy's bandmates' voices. Listening to recordings and looking at old photographs elicited more recollections, which allowed Roy to expand on recurring themes and motifs. This congenial, candid book offers different ways of knowing Roy's labor of love—his sound and work through sound, his reputation and circulation as a renowned musician and bandleader in the world.
Our traditional image of Chicago—as a gritty metropolis carved into ethnically defined enclaves where the game of machine politics overshadows its ends—is such a powerful shaper of the city’s identity that many of its closest observers fail to notice that a new Chicago has emerged over the past two decades. Larry Bennett here tackles some of our more commonly held ideas about the Windy City—inherited from such icons as Theodore Dreiser, Carl Sandburg, Daniel Burnham, Robert Park, Sara Paretsky, and Mike Royko—with the goal of better understanding Chicago as it is now: the third city.
Bennett calls contemporary Chicago the third city to distinguish it from its two predecessors: the first city, a sprawling industrial center whose historical arc ran from the Civil War to the Great Depression; and the second city, the Rustbelt exemplar of the period from around 1950 to 1990. The third city features a dramatically revitalized urban core, a shifting population mix that includes new immigrant streams, and a growing number of middle-class professionals working in new economy sectors. It is also a city utterly transformed by the top-to-bottom reconstruction of public housing developments and the ambitious provision of public works like Millennium Park. It is, according to Bennett, a work in progress spearheaded by Richard M. Daley, a self-consciously innovative mayor whose strategy of neighborhood revitalization and urban renewal is a prototype of city governance for the twenty-first century. The Third City ultimately contends that to understand Chicago under Daley’s charge is to understand what metropolitan life across North America may well look like in the coming decades.
Widely regarded as one of the most active and publicly engaged university presidents in modern academia, Duderstadt— who led the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1996— presided over a period of enormous change, not only for his institution, but for universities across the country. His presidency was a time of growth and conflict: of sweeping new affirmative-action and equal-opportunity programs, significant financial expansion, and reenergized student activism on issues from apartheid to codes of student conduct.
Under James Duderstadt’ s stewardship, Michigan reaffirmed its reputation as a trailblazer among universities. Part memoir, part history, part commentary, The View from the Helm extracts general lessons from his experiences at the forefront of change in higher education, offering current and future administrators a primer on academic leadership and venturing bold ideas on how higher education should be steered into the twenty-first century.
Whom does society consider an intellectual and on what grounds? Antonio Gramsci’s democratic vision of intelligence famously suggested that “all men are intellectuals,” yet within academic circles and among the general public, intellectuals continue to be defined by narrow, elite criteria.
In this study of four celebrated citizens of the African diaspora—American boxer Muhammad Ali, West Indian Marxist critic C. L. R. James, British cultural theorist Stuart Hall, and Jamaican musician Bob Marley—Grant Farred develops a new category of engaged thinker: the vernacular intellectual. Extending Gramsci’s concept of the organic intellectual, Farred conceives of vernacular intellectuals as individuals who challenge social injustice from inside and outside traditional academic or political spheres. Muhammad Ali, for example, is celebrated as much for his dazzling verbal skills and courageous political stands as for his pugilistic talents; Bob Marley’s messages of liberation are as central to his popularity as his lyrical and melodic sophistication. Neither man is described as an intellectual, yet both perform crucial intellectual functions: shaping how people see the world, oppose hegemony, and understand their own history. In contrast, the careers of C. L. R. James and Stuart Hall reflect a dynamic blend of the traditional and the vernacular. Conventionally trained and situated, James and Hall examine racism, history, and the lasting impact of colonialism in ways that draw on both established scholarship and more popular cultural experiences.
Challenging existing paradigms, What’s My Name offers an expansive and inclusive vision of intellectual activity that is as valid and meaningful in the boxing ring, the press conference, and the concert hall as in academia.
Life in the desert is a waiting game: waiting for rain. And in a year of drought, the stakes are especially high.
John Alcock knows the Sonoran Desert better than just about anyone else, and in this book he tracks the changes he observes in plant and animal life over the course of a drought year. Combining scientific knowledge with years of exploring the desert, he describes the variety of ways in which the wait for rain takes place—and what happens when it finally comes.
The desert is a land of five seasons, featuring two summers—hot, dry months followed by monsoon—and Alcock looks at the changes that take place in an entire desert community over the course of all five. He describes what he finds on hikes in the Usery Mountains near Phoenix, where he has studied desert life over three decades and where frequent visits have enabled him to notice effects of seasonal variation that might escape a casual glance.
Blending a personal perspective with field observation, Alcock shows how desert ecology depends entirely on rainfall. He touches on a wide range of topics concerning the desert’s natural history, noting the response of saguaro flowers to heat and the habits of predators, whether soaring red-tailed hawk or tiny horned lizard. He also describes unusual aspects of insects that few desert hikers will have noticed, such as the disruptive color pattern of certain grasshoppers that is more effective than most camouflage.
When the Rains Come is brimming with new insights into the desert, from the mating behaviors of insects to urban sprawl, and features photographs that document changes in the landscape as drought years come and go. It brings us the desert in the harshest of times—and shows that it is still teeming with life.