In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women’s university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan. With wit, candor, and a lover’s keen eye, she tells captivating stories—from that of a Buddhist funeral laden with ritual to an exhilarating evening spent touring the “Floating World,” the sensual demimonde in which salaryman meets geisha and the normal rules are suspended. On a remote island inhabited by one of the last matriarchal societies in the world, a disconcertingly down-to-earth priestess leads her to the heart of a sacred grove. And she spends a few unforgettable weeks in a quasi-Victorian residence called the Practice House, where, until recently, Japanese women were taught American customs so that they would make proper wives for husbands who might be stationed abroad. In an afterword new to this edition, Davidson tells of a poignant trip back to Japan in 2005 to visit friends who had remade their lives after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, which had devastated the city of Kobe, as well as the small town where Davidson had lived and the university where she taught.
36 Views of Mount Fuji not only transforms our image of Japan, it offers a stirring look at the very nature of culture and identity. Often funny, sometimes liltingly sad, it is as intimate and irresistible as a long-awaited letter from a good friend.
When, in 1968, 19-year-old Tressa Bowers took her baby daughter to an expert on deaf children, he pronounced that Alandra was “stone deaf,” she most likely would never be able to talk, and she probably would not get much of an education because of her communication limitations. Tressa refused to accept this stark assessment of Alandra’s prospects. Instead, she began the arduous process of starting her daughter’s education.
Economic need forced Tressa to move several times, and as a result, she and Alandra experienced a variety of learning environments: a pure oralist approach, which discouraged signing; Total Communication, in which the teachers spoke and signed simultaneously; a residential school for deaf children, where Signed English was employed; and a mainstream public school that relied upon interpreters. Changes at home added more demands, from Tressa’s divorce to her remarriage, her long work hours, and the ongoing challenge of complete communication within their family. Through it all, Tressa and Alandra never lost sight of their love for each other, and their affection rippled through the entire family. Today, Tressa can triumphantly point to her confident, educated daughter and also speak with pride of her wonderful relationship with her deaf grandchildren. Alandra’s Lilacs is a marvelous story about the resiliency and achievements of determined, loving people no matter what their circumstances might be.
Yearning for an escape from a claustrophobic childhood, Geoffrey Weill became infatuated with travel. At twenty-three, the budding British connoisseur made his way across the Atlantic on an ocean liner. The year was 1973, and he was bound for New York to pursue a promising role as consultant-in-training at the headquarters of the world’s oldest travel agency, Thomas Cook. The idyllic trip was reminiscent of those from the early twentieth century but made distinctly modern by a nightly reminder—at the onboard dance club, one was sure to run into a sequin-clad David Bowie.
All Abroad is the memoir of a man hungry for the logistics of travel: getting there, staying there, and feeling at home on any continent. Woven into his entertaining anecdotes is an informative account of a lost era in travel. As a witness to compelling and monumental changes in the industry, Weill offers a unique view into how our vacations have been shaped deeply by human trends, tragedies, and technologies. While some long for the grandeur of tourism from decades ago, Weill insists that travel—the conveyances and hotels that await journey’s end—remains as glamorous as ever.
Though he has spent half of his life elsewhere, Gregory Orfalea has remained obsessed with Los Angeles. That “brutal, beautiful city along the Pacific sea” shaped him and led to a series of essays originally published in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. These deeply moving pieces are gathered here together for the first time.
Populated with fascinating characters—the Angelenos of Orfalea’s life—these essays tell the story of the author’s trials. He returns to Los Angeles to teach, trying to reconcile the LA of his childhood with the city he now faces. He takes on progressively more difficult and painful subjects, finally confronting the memories of the shocking tragedy that took the lives of his father and sister.
With more than 400,000 Arab Americans in Los Angeles—probably surpassing Detroit as the largest contingent in America—Orfalea also explores his own community and its political and social concerns. He agonizes over another destruction of Lebanon and examines in searing detail a massacre of civilians in Iraq.
Angeleno Days takes the memoir and personal essay to rare heights. Orfalea is a deeply human writer who reveals not only what it means to be human in America now, but also what it will take to remain human in the days to come. These essays soar, confound, reveal, and strike at our senses and sensibilities, forcing us to think and feel in new ways.
Beyond Shangri-La chronicles relations between the Tibetans and the United States since 1908, when a Dalai Lama first met with U.S. representatives. What was initially a distant alliance became more intimate and entangled in the late 1950s, when the Tibetan people launched an armed resistance movement against the Chinese occupiers. The Tibetans fought to oust the Chinese and to maintain the presence of the current Dalai Lama and his direction of their country. In 1958, John Kenneth Knaus volunteered to serve in a major CIA program to support the Tibetans. For the next seven years, as an operations officer working from India, from Colorado, and from Washington, D.C., he cooperated with the Tibetan rebels as they utilized American assistance to contest Chinese domination and to attain international recognition as an independent entity.
Since the late 1950s, the rugged resolve of the Dalai Lama and his people and the growing respect for their efforts to free their homeland from Chinese occupation have made Tibet's political and cultural status a pressing issue in international affairs. So has the realization by nations, including the United States, that their geopolitical interests would best be served by the defeat of the Chinese and the achievement of Tibetan self-determination. Beyond Shangri-La provides unique insight into the efforts of the U.S. government and committed U.S. citizens to support a free Tibet.
The Black Rock Desert
Text by William L. Fox; Photographs by Mark Klett University of Arizona Press, 2002 Library of Congress F847.B53F69 2002 | Dewey Decimal 979.354
It is the only absolute desert in North America, a four-hundred-square-mile dry lake bed so desolate that nothing ever grows there. Vast and featureless, Nevada's Black Rock Desert defies visual measurement—much to the consternation of off-roaders who venture out onto this playa only to run out of gas before reaching the other side. It is the largest flat area on the continent, where the sound barrier was broken in a car. And it is a place of total silence—not even birds or insects live here—except when thousands of humans congregate for the Burning Man Festival on Labor Day weekend. Writer and poet William Fox has demonstrated his familiarity with the Great Basin in such respected books as Mapping the Empty, just as Mark Klett has been documenting the landscape of the American West in his acclaimed photographic studies. Now these accomplished artists turn their combined talents to an appreciation of this desolate corner of North America, where the only change in scenery comes with the shifting pattern of cracks in the earth after seasonal rains. The Black Rock Desert is a philosophical and visual meditation on an extraordinary place virtually devoid of the usual physical features one relies on for orientation and comfort. It invites readers to consider how the mind responds to a place so empty that it's both physically overpowering and psychically disorienting. Klett's photographs are austere yet innovative, admitting the vastness of the desert yet never letting us forget that traces of human passage and perception are ubiquitous. Fox's contemplative essays bring us news of both the natural desert and its cultural occupation, from the explorations of John C. Frémont to the exaltations of Burning Man. Together, Fox and Klett have forged an introspective guide to a place so daunting that few dare to venture there alone. For anyone seeking to understand how and why we perceive deserts the way we do, their book charts the rugged intersection of the American landscape and the human spirit.
Veteran activist Mab Segrest takes readers along on her travels to view a world experiencing extraordinary change. As she moves from place to place, she speculates on the effects of globalization and urban development on individuals, examines the struggles for racial, economic, and sexual equality, and narrates her own history as a lesbian in the American South. From the principle that we all belong to the human community, Segrest uses her personal experience as a filter for larger political and cultural issues. Her writings bring together such groups as the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina, fledging gay rights activists in Zimbabwe, and resistance fighters in El Salvador. Segrest expertly plumbs her own personal experiences for organizing principles and maxims to combat racism, homophobia, sexism, and economic exploitation.
Mo Yan Seagull Books, 2010 Library of Congress PL2886.O1684B5313 2012
In Change, Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature, personalizes the political and social changes in his country over the past few decades in this novella disguised as autobiography—or vice-versa. Unlike most historical narratives from China, which are pegged to political events, Change is a representative of “people’s history,” a bottom-up rather than top-down view of a country in flux. By moving back and forth in time and focusing on small events and everyday people, Mo Yan breathes life into history by describing the effects of larger-than-life events on the average citizen.
“Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.”— Nobel Committee for Literature
This study examines China’s interests in the Middle East and assesses China’s economic, political, and security activities there to determine whether China has a strategy toward the region and what such a strategy means for the United States. The study focuses on China’s relations with two of its key partners in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia and Iran.
China is fast emerging as a powerful player on the world stage. This book takes a closer look at the country's stance on a range of global issues, arguing that its multipolar diplomacy offers a concrete strategy to constrain the US pursuit of unipolar primacy.
Many people assume that China will follow an imperialistic strategy and therefore be in direct conflict with the American empire in a quest for world domination. Jenny Clegg shows that China is in fact taking a multilateral approach, offering real assistance to developing countries and helping to build the institutions required to run a multipolar world. Without glossing over China's own internal difficulties, the book argues that its international consensus-building strategy could lead to a more peaceful and equitable world.
This book offers a refreshing perspective on China that will be of great value to those interested in the big political questions of how to tackle war and imperialism, globalisation and development as well as to undergraduate students of politics, economics and international relations.
China’s Good War
Rana Mitter Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress DS777.6.M58 2020 | Dewey Decimal 320.540951
Chinese leaders once tried to suppress memories of their nation’s brutal experience during World War II. Now they celebrate the “victory”—a key foundation of China’s rising nationalism.
For most of its history, the People’s Republic of China discouraged public discussion of the war against Japan. It was an experience of victimization—and one that saw Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek fighting for the same goals. But now, as China grows more powerful, the meaning of the war is changing. Rana Mitter argues that China’s reassessment of the war years is central to its newfound confidence abroad and to mounting nationalism at home.
China’s Good War begins with the academics who shepherded the once-taboo subject into wider discourse. Encouraged by reforms under Deng Xiaoping, they researched the Guomindang war effort, collaboration with the Japanese, and China’s role in forming the post-1945 global order. But interest in the war would not stay confined to scholarly journals. Today public sites of memory—including museums, movies and television shows, street art, popular writing, and social media—define the war as a founding myth for an ascendant China. Wartime China emerges as victor rather than victim.
The shifting story has nurtured a number of new views. One rehabilitates Chiang Kai-shek’s war efforts, minimizing the bloody conflicts between him and Mao and aiming to heal the wounds of the Cultural Revolution. Another narrative positions Beijing as creator and protector of the international order that emerged from the war—an order, China argues, under threat today largely from the United States. China’s radical reassessment of its collective memory of the war has created a new foundation for a people destined to shape the world.
Citizens and Groups in Contemporary China began with two symposia held in 1977 and 1978. The first, a workshop on “The Pursuit of Interest in China,” was held in August 1977 at the University of Michigan, and was organized by Michel Oksenberg and Richard Baum. It was supported by a grant from the Joint Committee on Contemporary China of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, using funds provided by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Its principal goal was to use detailed case studies to explore the relevance of interest group approaches to the study of Chinese politics. The second, a panel organized by the editor for the 1978 Chicago meeting of the Association of Asian Studies, sought to apply participatory approaches to the role of social groups in the Chinese political process. The striking degree of overlap in the focus, methodology, and participants in both meetings suggested to a number of the paper writers that there was a need for a more eclectic approach which would focus simultaneously on individual and group actors. The recognition that a volume based on such an approach might serve the needs of students and scholars seeking to examine the dynamics of informal influence and power in China was the stimulus for publishing the studies presented here in book form. [ix]
“The earth near our place/ was cradle, / it rocked us— / became our skin. / House doors opened, / spilled us out, / we disappeared into trees— / they clothed us in delirious green. /. . . We knew the song / of this place, made it up, / sang it—”
Homestead life is often romanticized as a valiant, resilient family persisting in the clean isolation of pristine wilderness, living off the land and depending only on each other. But there can be a darker side to this existence.
Linda Schandelmeier was raised on a family homestead six miles south of the fledgling town of Anchorage, Alaska in the 1950s and ’60s. But hers is not a typical homestead story. In this book, part poetic memoir and part historical document, a young girl comes of age in a family fractured by divorce and abuse. Schandelmeier does not shy away from these details of her family history, but she also recognizes her childhood as one that was unique and nurturing, and many of her poems celebrate homestead life. Her words hint at her way of surviving and even transcending the remoteness by suggesting a deeper level of human experience beyond the daily grind of homestead life; a place in which the trees and mountains are almost members of the family. These are poems grounded in the wilds that shimmer with a mythic quality. Schandelmeier’s vivid descriptions of homesteading will draw in readers from all types of lives.
Crossing Ocean Parkway
Marianna De Marco Torgovnick University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS153.I8T67 1994 | Dewey Decimal 810.9851
Growing up an Italian-American in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of New York city, Marianna De Marco longed for college, culture, and upward mobility. Her daydreams circled around WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) heroes on television—like Robin Hood and the Cartwright family—but in Brooklyn she never encountered any. So she associated moving up with Ocean Parkway, a street that divides the working-class Italian neighborhood where she was born from the middle-class Jewish neighborhood into which she married. This book is Torgovnick's unflinching account of crossing cultural boundaries in American life, of what it means to be an Italian American woman who became a scholar and literary critic.
Included are autobiographical moments interwoven with engrossing interpretations of American cultural icons from Dr. Dolittle to Lionel Trilling, The Godfather to Camille Paglia. Her experiences allow her to probe the cultural tensions in America caused by competing ideas of individuality and community, upward mobility and ethnic loyalty, acquisitiveness and spirituality.
As a spokesman for disaffected youth of the post-1960s, Murakami Haruki has become one of the most important voices in contemporary Japanese literature, and he has gained a following in the United States through translations of his works. In Dances with Sheep, Matthew Strecher examines Murakami’s fiction—and, to a lesser extent, his nonfiction—for its most prevalent structures and themes. Strecher also delves into the paradoxes in Murakami’s writings that confront critics and casual readers alike. Murakami writes of “serious” themes yet expresses them in a relatively uncomplicated style that appeals to high school students as well as scholars; and his fictional work appears to celebrate the pastiche of postmodern expression, yet he rejects the effects of the postmodern on contemporary culture as dangerous.
Strecher’s methodology is both historical and cultural as he utilizes four distinct yet interwoven approaches to analyze Murakami’s major works: the writer’s “formulaic” structure with serious themes; his play with magical realism; the intense psychological underpinnings of his literary landscape; and his critique of language and its capacity to represent realities, past and present. Dances with Sheep links each of these approaches with Murakami’s critical focus on the fate of individual identity in contemporary Japan. The result is that the simplicity of the Murakami hero, marked by lethargy and nostalgia, emerges as emblematic of contemporary humankind, bereft of identity, direction, and meaning. Murakami’s fiction is reconstructed in Dances with Sheep as a warning against the dehumanizing effects of late-model capitalism, the homogenization of the marketplace, and the elimination of effective counterculture in Japan.
This volume argues that using social capital to eradicate poverty is unlikely to succeed because its mainstream approach mistakenly assumes that social capital necessarily benefits poor people. The inadequacy of that assumption, Sam Wong argues, calls for a reassessment of human motivations, institutional dynamics, and the complexity of structures in social capital building. Proposing a “pro-poor” perspective, in which poverty-specific outcomes are highlighted, he suggests an exploration of “unseen” social capital is in order—not only to challenge the mainstream understanding of “seen” social capital, but to demonstrate the need for everyday cooperation, which is shaped by social norms, influenced by conscious and unconscious motivations, and subject to changes in priority based on livelihood. A useful volume for both policy makers and practitioners, Exploring ‘Unseen’ Social Capital in Community Participation offers a fresh perspective in thinking about civic and social agency.
On the centennial of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, the definitive history of how Mao and his successors overcame incredible odds to gain and keep power.
Mao Zedong and the twelve other young men who founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 could hardly have imagined that less than thirty years later they would be rulers. On its hundredth anniversary, the party remains in command, leading a nation primed for global dominance.
Tony Saich tells the authoritative, comprehensive story of the Chinese Communist Party—its rise to power against incredible odds, its struggle to consolidate rule and overcome self-inflicted disasters, and its thriving amid other Communist parties’ collapse. Saich argues that the brutal Japanese invasion in the 1930s actually helped the party. As the Communists retreated into the countryside, they established themselves as the populist, grassroots alternative to the Nationalists, gaining the support they would need to triumph in the civil war. Once in power, however, the Communists faced the difficult task of learning how to rule. Saich examines the devastating economic consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the political chaos of the Cultural Revolution, as well as the party’s rebound under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.
Leninist systems are thought to be rigid, yet the Chinese Communist Party has proved adaptable. From Rebel to Ruler shows that the party owes its endurance to its flexibility. But is it nimble enough to realize Xi Jinping’s “China Dream”? Challenges are multiplying, as the growing middle class makes new demands on the state and the ideological retreat from communism draws the party further from its revolutionary roots. The legacy of the party may be secure, but its future is anything but guaranteed.
Thirty years ago there were nine African Americans in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today there are four times that number. In Going Home, the dean of congressional studies, Richard F. Fenno, explores what representation has meant—and means today—to black voters and to the politicians they have elected to office.
Fenno follows the careers of four black representatives—Louis Stokes, Barbara Jordan, Chaka Fattah, and Stephanie Tubbs Jones—from their home districts to the halls of the Capitol. He finds that while these politicians had different visions of how they should represent their districts (in part based on their individual preferences, and in part based on the history of black politics in America), they shared crucial organizational and symbolic connections to their constituents. These connections, which draw on a sense of "linked fates," are ones that only black representatives can provide to black constituents.
His detailed portraits and incisive analyses will be important for anyone interested in the workings of Congress or in black politics.
Observers often note the glaring contrast between China's economic progress and its stalled political reforms. This volume, written by experienced scholars, explores a range of grassroots efforts--initiated by the state and society alike--to restrain corrupt behavior and enhance the accountability of local authorities. While the authors offer varying views on the larger significance of these developments, their case studies point to a more dynamic Chinese political system than is often acknowledged.
Hard Sayings: The Rhetoric of Christian Orthodoxy in Late Modern Fiction by Thomas F. Haddox examines the work of six avowedly Christian writers of fiction in the period from World War II to the present. This period is often characterized in western societies by such catchphrases as “postmodernism” and “secularization,” with the frequent implication that orthodox belief in the dogmas of Christianity has become untenable among educated readers. How, then, do we account for the continued existence of writers of self-consciously literary fiction who attempt to persuade readers of the truth, desirability, and utility of the dogmas of Christianity? Is it possible to take these writers’ efforts on their own terms and to understand and evaluate the rhetorical strategies that this kind of persuasion might entail?
Informed by the school of rhetorical narratology that includes such critics as Wayne Booth, James Phelan, and Richard Walsh, Hard Sayings offers fresh new readings of fictive works by Flannery O’Connor, Muriel Spark, John Updike, Walker Percy, Mary Gordon, and Marilynne Robinson. In its argument that orthodox Christianity, as represented in fiction, still has the power to persuade and to trouble, it contributes to ongoing debates about the nature and scope of modernity, postmodernity, and secularization.
Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken and fragmented. Today it is a force on the global stage, and yet its leaders have continued to be haunted by the past. Drawing on an array of sources, Sulmaan Wasif Khan chronicles the grand strategies that have sought not only to protect China from aggression but also to ensure it would never again experience the powerlessness of the late Qing and Republican eras.
The dramatic variations in China’s modern history have obscured the commonality of purpose that binds the country’s leaders. Analyzing the calculus behind their decision making, Khan explores how they wove diplomatic, military, and economic power together to keep a fragile country safe in a world they saw as hostile. Dangerous and shrewd, Mao Zedong made China whole and succeeded in keeping it so, while the caustic, impatient Deng Xiaoping dragged China into the modern world. Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao served as cautious custodians of the Deng legacy, but the powerful and deeply insecure Xi Jinping has shown an assertiveness that has raised both fear and hope across the globe.
For all their considerable costs, China’s grand strategies have been largely successful. But the country faces great challenges today. Its population is aging, its government is undermined by corruption, its neighbors are arming out of concern over its growing power, and environmental degradation threatens catastrophe. A question Haunted by Chaos raises is whether China’s time-tested approach can respond to the looming threats of the twenty-first century.
Ireland at the Polls, 1981, 1982, and 1987: A Study of four General Elections is another in the series of national election studies prepared by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). Books in the series include volumes on some thirty national democratic elections around the world. Distinguished foreign and American scholars have contributed to the studies.
“Chronicles reforms, revolutions, and wars through the lens of institutions, often rebutting Western impressions…[And] warns against thinking of China’s economic success as proof of a unique path without contextualizing it in historical specifics.” —New Yorker
“This thoughtful, probing interpretation is a worthy successor to the famous histories of Fairbank and Spence and will be read by all students and scholars of modern China.” —William C. Kirby, coauthor of Can China Lead?
It is tempting to attribute the rise of China’s to recent changes in political leadership and economic policy. But China has had a long history of creative adaptation and it would be a mistake to think that its current trajectory began with Deng Xiaoping. In the mid-eighteenth century, when the Qing Empire reached the height of its power, China dominated a third of the world’s population. Then, as the Opium Wars threatened the nation’s sovereignty and the Taiping Rebellion ripped the country apart, China found itself verging on free fall. In the twentieth century China managed a surprising recovery, rapidly undergoing profound economic and social change, buttressed by technological progress. A dynamic story of crisis and recovery, failures and triumphs, Making China Modern explores the versatility and resourcefulness that has guaranteed China’s survival in the past, and is now fueling its future.
Maoism at the Grassroots
Jeremy Brown Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DS777.6.M36 2015 | Dewey Decimal 951.05
Maoism at the Grassroots challenges state-centered views of China under Mao, providing insights into the lives of citizens across social strata, ethnicities, and regions. It reveals how ordinary people risked persecution and imprisonment in order to assert personal beliefs and identities, despite political repression and surveillance.
Lennard J. Davis grew up as the hearing child of deaf parents. In this candid, affecting, and often funny memoir, he recalls the joys and confusions of this special world, especially his complex and sometimes difficult relationships with his working-class Jewish immigrant parents. Gracefully slipping through memory, regret, longing, and redemption, My Sense of Silence is an eloquent remembrance of human ties and human failings.
In National Past-Times, Ann Anagnost explores the fashioning and refashioning of modern Chinese subjectivity as it relates to the literal and figurative body of the nation. In essays revealing the particular temporality of the modern Chinese nation-state, Anagnost examines the disparate eras of its recent past and its propensity for continually looking backward in order to face the future. Using interviews and participant observation as well as close readings of official documents, propaganda materials, and popular media, Anagnost notes the discontinuities in the nation’s narrative—moments where this narrative has been radically reorganized at critical junctures in China’s modern history. Covering a broad range of issues relating to representation and power—issues that have presented themselves with particular clarity in the years since the violent crackdown on the student movement of 1989—National Past-Times critiques the ambiguous possibilities produced by the market, as well as new opportunities for "unfreedom" in the discipline of labor and the commodification of women. Anagnost begins with a retrospective reflection on the practice of "speaking bitterness" in socialist revolutionary practice. Subsequent essays discuss the culture debates of the 1980s, the discourse of social disorder, the issue of population control, the film The Story of Qiu Ju, and anomalies at the theme park "Splendid China."
The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict illuminates the controversial course of America's Middle East relations from the birth of Israel to the Reagan administration. Skillfully separating actual policymaking from the myths that have come to surround it, Spiegel challenges the belief that American policy in the Middle East is primarily a relation to events in that region or is motivated by bureaucratic constraints or the pressures of domestic politics. On the contrary, he finds that the ideas and skills of the president and his advisors are critical to the determination of American policy. This volume received the 1986 National Jewish Book Award.
Grappling with enduring questions about the means of achieving power in the Chinese Communist hierarchy, this study analyzes the rise of six individuals (Ji Dengkui, Peng Chong, Gu Mu, Yu Qiuli, Xu Shiyou, and Chen Xilian) who held positions of elite political power in the immediate post-Mao Zedong era. In a new preface, the author applies his hypotheses to China’s more recent political developments.
A rich exploration of the possibilities of representation after Modernism, Mark Taylor's new study charts the logic and continuity of Mark Tansey's painting by considering the philosophical ideas behind Tansey's art. Taylor examines how Tansey uses structuralist and poststructuralist thought as well as catastrophe, chaos, and complexity theory to create paintings that please the eye while provoking the mind. Taylor's clear accounts of thinkers ranging from Plato, Kant, and Hegel to Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and de Man will be an invaluable contribution to students and teachers of art.
In eight brilliant essays, Fox explores many of the major playas of the American West , examining locations as diverse as Nellis Air Force Base and Frenchman Flat, where the federal government has tested experimental aircraft and atomic weaponry; the Great Salt Lake Desert, where land-speed records have been broken; and the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, site of the colorful Burning Man arts festival. He analyzes the geological and climatological conditions that created the playas and the historical role that playas played in the exploration and settlement of the West. And he offers lucid and keenly perceptive discussions of the ways that artists have responded to the playas, from the ancient makers of geoglyphs to the work of contemporary artists who have found inspiration in these enigmatic spaces, including earthworks builder Michael Heizer, photographer Richard Misrach, and painter Michael Moore. The ensemble is a compelling combination of natural history, philosophy, and art criticism, a thoughtful meditation on humankind's aversion to and fascination with the void.
Focusing on the work of the Argentine authors César Aira, Marcelo Cohen, and Ricardo Piglia, The Polyphonic Machine conducts a close analysis of the interrelations between capitalism and political violence in late twentieth-century Argentina. Taking a long historical view, the book considers the most recent Argentine dictatorship of 1976–1983 together with its antecedents and its after-effects, exploring the transformations in power relations and conceptions of resistance which accompanied the political developments experienced throughout this period. By tracing allusive fragments of Argentine political history and drawing on a range of literary and theoretical sources Geraghty proposes that Aira, Cohen and Piglia propound a common analysis of Argentine politics during the twentieth century and construct a synergetic philosophical critique of capitalism and political violence. The book thus constitutes a radical reappraisal of three of the most important authors in contemporary Argentine literature and contributes to the philosophical and historical understanding of the most recent Argentine military government and their systematic plan of state terrorism.
Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet “Stanland” is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, academic and journalist David Mould’s career took him to the region on Fulbright Fellowships and contracts as a media trainer and consultant for UNESCO and USAID, among others. In Postcards from Stanland, he takes readers along with him on his encounters with the people, landscapes, and customs of the diverse countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—he came to love. He talks with teachers, students, politicians, environmental activists, bloggers, cab drivers, merchants, Peace Corps volunteers, and more.
Until now, few books for a nonspecialist readership have been written on the region, and while Mould brings his own considerable expertise to bear on his account—for example, he is one of the few scholars to have conducted research on post-Soviet media in the region—the book is above all a tapestry of place and a valuable contribution to our understanding of the post-Soviet world.
In a brilliantly conceived book, Jeremi Suri puts the tumultuous 1960s into a truly international perspective in the first study to examine the connections between great power diplomacy and global social protest. Profoundly disturbed by increasing social and political discontent, Cold War powers united on the international front, in the policy of detente. Though reflecting traditional balance of power considerations, detente thus also developed from a common urge for stability among leaders who by the late 1960s were worried about increasingly threatening domestic social activism.
In the early part of the decade, Cold War pressures simultaneously inspired activists and constrained leaders; within a few years activism turned revolutionary on a global scale. Suri examines the decade through leaders and protesters on three continents, including Mao Zedong, Charles de Gaulle, Martin Luther King Jr., Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He describes connections between policy and protest from the Berkeley riots to the Prague Spring, from the Paris strikes to massive unrest in Wuhan, China.
Designed to protect the existing political order and repress movements for change, detente gradually isolated politics from the public. The growth of distrust and disillusion in nearly every society left a lasting legacy of global unrest, fragmentation, and unprecedented public skepticism toward authority.
What happens when love is no longer enough? Jane Bernstein thought that learning to accept her daughter’s disabilities meant her struggles were over. But as Rachel grew up and needed more than a parent’s devotion, both mother and daughter were confronted with formidable obstacles. Rachel in theWorld, which begins in Rachel’s fifth year and ends when she turns twenty-two, tells of their barriers and successes with the same honesty and humor that made Loving Rachel, Bernstein’s first memoir, a classic in its field. The linked accounts in part 1 center on family issues, social services, experiences with caregivers, and Rachel herself--difficult, charming, hard to fathom, eager for her own independence. The second part of the book chronicles Bernstein’s attempt to find Rachel housing at a time when over 200,000 Americans with mental retardation were on waiting lists for residential services. As Rachel prepares to leave her mother’s constant protection, Bernstein invites the reader to share the frustrations and unexpected pleasures of finding a place for her daughter, first in her family, and then in the world.
The Real, The True, and The Told: Postmodern Historical Narrative and the Ethics of Representation, by Eric L. Berlatsky, intervenes in contemporary debates over the problems of historical reference in a postmodern age. It does so through an examination of postmodern literary practices and their engagement with the theorization of history. The book looks at the major figures of constructivist historiography and at postmodern fiction (and memoir) that explicitly presents and/or theorizes “history.” It does so in order to suggest that reading such fiction can intervene substantially in debates over historical reference and the parallel discussion of redefining contemporary ethics.
Much theorization in the wake of Hayden White suggests that history is little better than fiction in its professed goal of representing the “truth” of the past, particularly because of its reliance on the narrative form.While postmodern fiction is often read as reflecting and/or repeating such theories, this book argues that, in fact, such fiction proposes alternative models of accurate historical reference, based on models of nonnarrativity. Through a combination of high theory andnarrative theory, the book illustrates how the texts examined insist upon the possibility of accessing the real by rejecting narrative as their primary mode of articulation. Among the authors examined closely in The Real, The True, and The Told are Virginia Woolf, Graham Swift, Salman Rushdie, Art Spiegelman, and Milan Kundera.
The Return of the Moguls chronicles an important story in the making, one that will affect more than just the newspaper business—it has the power to change democracy as we know it. Over the course of a generation, the story of the daily newspaper has been an unchecked slide from record profitability and readership to plummeting profits, increasing irrelevance, and inevitable obsolescence. The forces killing major dailies, alternative weeklies, and small-town shoppers are well understood—or seem obvious in hindsight, at least—and the catalog of publications that have gone under reads like a who’s who of American journalism. During the past half-century, old-style press barons gave way to a cabal of corporate interests unable or unwilling to invest in the future even as technological change was destroying their core business. The Taylor family sold the Boston Globe to the New York Times Company in 1993 for a cool $1.1 billion. Twenty years later, the Times Company resold it for just $70 million. The unexpected twist to the story, however, is not what they sold it for but who they sold it to: John Henry, the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. A billionaire who made his money in the world of high finance, Henry inspired optimism in Boston because of his track record as a public-spirited business executive—and because his deep pockets seemed to ensure that the shrunken newspaper would not be subjected to further downsizing. In just a few days, the sale of the Globe was overtaken by much bigger news: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the world’s richest people, had reached a deal to buy the Washington Post for $250 million. Henry’s ascension at the Globe sparked hope. Bezos’s purchase seemed to inspire nothing short of ecstasy, as numerous observers expressed the belief that his lofty status as one of our leading digital visionaries could help him solve the daunting financial problems facing the newspaper business. Though Bezos and Henry are the two most prominent individuals to enter the newspaper business, a third preceded them. Aaron Kushner, a greeting-card executive, acquired California’s Orange County Register in July 2012 and then pursued an audacious agenda, expanding coverage and hiring journalists in an era when nearly all other newspaper owners were trying to avoid cutting both. The newspaper business is at a perilous crossroads. This essential book explains why, and how today’s new crop of media moguls might help it to survive.
The 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, staged in the young nation of Zaire and dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle, was arguably the biggest sporting event of the twentieth century. The bout between an ascendant undefeated champ and an outspoken master trying to reclaim the throne was a true multimedia spectacle. A three-day festival of international music—featuring James Brown, Miriam Makeba, and many others—preceded the fight itself, which was viewed by a record-breaking one billion people worldwide. Lewis A. Erenberg’s new book provides a global perspective on this singular match, not only detailing the titular fight but also locating it at the center of the cultural dramas of the day.
TheRumble in the Jungle orbits around Ali and Foreman, placing them at the convergence of the American Civil Rights movement and the Great Society, the rise of Islamic and African liberation efforts, and the ongoing quest to cast off the shackles of colonialism. With his far-reaching take on sports, music, marketing, and mass communications, Erenberg shows how one boxing match became nothing less than a turning point in 1970s culture.
In this witty combination of memoir and observation, Thomas Geoghegan addresses the widespread cynicism about our government and explores what it means to be a "national" civil servant and a "local" citizen.
"This is unlike any public-policy book I've ever read: part Catcher in the Rye, part The Road to Wigan Pier, part The Federalist Papers, it is mesmerizing, rueful, painfully honest, and never, ever dull."—Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test
"Extraordinary. It has the essential trait of a memorable book, in that after reading it you look at daily life in a lastingly different way." —James Fallows, author of Breaking the News
"[Geoghegan] has written a book that is not only compelling to read but that provokes us to seriously reflect on the choices we make and how we spend our time." —Jonathan Coleman, Washington Post Book World
"Geoghegan's language is playful. . . . Personal reminiscence mixing with historical anecdote, dipping into complex themes . . . shifting from wistful nostalgia to dark comedy." —Robert B. Reich, New York Times Book Review
"A truly strange and wonderful book." — William Finnegan
“Rocks. Goats. Dry shrubs. Buffaloes. Thorns. A fallen tamarind tree.” Such were the sights that greeted David Shulman on his arrival in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in the spring of 2006. An expert on South Indian languages and cultures, Shulman knew the region well, but from the moment he arrived for this seven-month sojourn he actively soaked up such simple aspects of his surroundings, determined to attend to the rich texture of daily life—choosing to be at the same time scholar and tourist, wanderer and wonderer.
Lyrical, sensual, and introspective, Spring, Heat, Rains is Shulman’s diary of that experience. Evocative reflections on daily events—from explorations of crumbling temples to battles with ineradicable bugs to joyous dinners with friends—are organically interwoven with considerations of the ancient poetry and myths that remain such an inextricable part of life in contemporary India. With Shulman as our guide, we meet singers and poets, washermen and betel-nut vendors, modern literati and ancient gods and goddesses. We marvel at the “golden electrocution” that is the taste of a mango fresh from the tree. And we plunge into the searing heat of an Indian summer, so oppressive and inescapable that when the monsoon arrives to banish the heat with sheets of rain, we understand why, year after year, it is celebrated as a miracle.
An unabashedly personal account from a scholar whose deep knowledge has never obscured his joy in discovery, Spring, Heat, Rains is a passionate act of sharing, an unforgettable gift for anyone who has ever dreamed of India.
Within days of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the far reaching arm of American airpower sprang into action. The skyscapes of the North Atlantic, Europe, and the Mediterranean became laced with the contrails of great jets flowing day and night toward the Persian Gulf. From the skies, manpower and material poured onto the bleak sands under the ominous clouds of the gathering storm, and in only a few weeks the size of the effort eclipsed that of the Berlin Airlift.
The thousands of crewmembers flying the jets, as well as those servicing and managing them, became the backbone of history’s largest air logistical operation. Many of these men and women were Air Force reservists, and the author participated as a pilot of a C-141B Starlifter with the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Cockrell writes lyrically about flying and about the emotional and intellectual satisfaction enjoyed by those who fly. His focus is on the people recalled to active duty, who flew thousands of hours, coping with fatigue, cracked wings, missile attacks, and, in some cases, deteriorating businesses and families at home. Tail of the Storm gives expression to their love of flight, as well as their dedication to the endangered values of duty, honor, country. This story is good reading—not only for those who share the author’s enthusiasm for flying but also for those who read for pleasure and have a curiosity about a pilot’s world.
This authoritative work on the Chinese Communist party’s practices of reeducation and indoctrination, supersedes all previous works by bringing into account recent events. Hu Ping has provided a rich and rigorous study based not only in historical research and numerous compelling case studies of Chinese intellectuals, but also in a first person account of his own experience of Maoist thought “remolding.” The Thought Remolding Campaign of the Chinese Communist Party-State is an important history not only of the reeducation programs, but of the interrogation processes of the Party, and the strategies of either evasion or rebellion that released prisoners adopted.
How can the world's most powerful nations cooperate despite their conflicting interests? In Three-Way Street, Joshua S. Goldstein and John R. Freeman analyze the complex intersection defined by relations among the United States, the Soviet Union, and China over the past forty years.
The authors demonstrate that three major schools of international relations theory—all game-theoretic, psychological, and quantitative-empirical approaches—have all advocated a strategy that employs cooperative initiatives and reciprocal responses in order to elicit cooperation from other countries. Critics have questioned whether such approaches can model how countries actually behave, but Goldstein and Freeman provide a wealth of detailed empirical evidence showing the existence and effectiveness of strategic reciprocity among the three countries between 1948 and 1989. Specifically, they establish that relations among the three countries have improved in recent decades through a "two steps forward, one step back" pattern. Their innovative and remarkably accessible synthesis of leading theoretical perspectives brilliantly illuminates the nature and workings of international cooperation.
In this significant contribution to both political theory and China studies, Lin Chun provides a critical assessment of the scope and limits of socialist experiments in China, analyzing their development since the victory of the Chinese communist revolution in 1949 and reflecting on the country’s likely paths into the future. Lin suggests that China’s twentieth-century trajectory be grasped in terms of the collective search by its people for a modern alternative to colonial modernity, bureaucratic socialism, and capitalist subordination. Evaluating contending interpretations of the formation and transformation of Chinese socialism in the contemporary conditions of global capitalism, Lin argues that the post-Mao reform model must be remade.
This book provides a detailed, student-friendly overview of Ireland in the twenty-first century and the remarkable economic and social transformations that have occurred since the late 1980s.
The "Celtic Tiger" phenomenon has made Ireland the focus of much attention in recent years. Other countries have openly declared that they want to follow the Irish economic and social model. Yet there is no book that gives a comprehensive, spatially-informed analysis of the Irish experience. This book fills that gap.
Divided into four parts—planning and development, the economy, the political landscape, and population and social issues—the chapters provide an explanation of a particular aspect of Ireland and Irish life accompanied by illustrative material. In particular, the authors reveal how the transformations that have occurred are uneven and unequal in their effects across the country and highlight the challenges now facing Irish society and policy-makers.