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The Age of Smoke
Environmental Policy in Germany and the United States, 1880-1970
Frank Uekotter
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009
In 1880, coal was the primary energy source for everything from home heating to industry. Regions where coal was readily available, such as the Ruhr Valley in Germany and western Pennsylvania in the United States, witnessed exponential growth-yet also suffered the greatest damage from coal pollution.

These conditions prompted civic activism in the form of “anti-smoke” campaigns to attack the unsightly physical manifestations of coal burning. This early period witnessed significant cooperation between industrialists, government, and citizens to combat the smoke problem. It was not until the 1960s, when attention shifted from dust and grime to hazardous invisible gases, that cooperation dissipated, and protests took an antagonistic turn.

The Age of Smoke presents an original, comparative history of environmental policy and protest in the United States and Germany. Dividing this history into distinct eras (1880 to World War I, interwar, post-World War II to 1970), Frank Uekoetter compares and contrasts the influence of political, class, and social structures, scientific communities, engineers, industrial lobbies, and environmental groups in each nation. He concludes with a discussion of the environmental revolution, arguing that there were indeed two environmental revolutions in both countries: one societal, where changing values gave urgency to air pollution control, the other institutional, where changes in policies tried to catch up with shifting sentiments.

Focusing on a critical period in environmental history, The Age of Smoke provides a valuable study of policy development in two modern industrial nations, and the rise of civic activism to combat air pollution. As Uekoetter's work reveals, the cooperative approaches developed in an earlier era offer valuable lessons and perhaps the best hope for future progress.

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Air & Light & Time & Space
How Successful Academics Write
Helen Sword
Harvard University Press, 2017

From the author of Stylish Academic Writing comes an essential new guide for writers aspiring to become more productive and take greater pleasure in their craft. Helen Sword interviewed one hundred academics worldwide about their writing background and practices. Relatively few were trained as writers, she found, and yet all have developed strategies to thrive in their publish-or-perish environment.

So how do these successful academics write, and where do they find the “air and light and time and space,” in the words of poet Charles Bukowski, to get their writing done? What are their formative experiences, their daily routines, their habits of mind? How do they summon up the courage to take intellectual risks and the resilience to deal with rejection?

Sword identifies four cornerstones that anchor any successful writing practice: Behavioral habits of discipline and persistence; Artisanal habits of craftsmanship and care; Social habits of collegiality and collaboration; and Emotional habits of positivity and pleasure. Building on this “BASE,” she illuminates the emotional complexity of the writing process and exposes the lack of writing support typically available to early-career academics. She also lays to rest the myth that academics must produce safe, conventional prose or risk professional failure. The successful writers profiled here tell stories of intellectual passions indulged, disciplinary conventions subverted, and risk-taking rewarded. Grounded in empirical research and focused on sustainable change, Air & Light & Time & Space offers a customizable blueprint for refreshing personal habits and creating a collegial environment where all writers can flourish.


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The Air in the Air Behind It
Brandon Rushton
Tupelo Press, 2022
‘With an eye roving like a documentary camera, Brandon Rushton delivers a post-wonder diorama of the contemporary non-urban United States in which the vaunted American lawn is artificial; the food is full of chemicals; and “what haven’t we / homogenized.” The freedoms of childhood and adolescence are figured here as a kind of lost, damaged paradise before everyone erases themselves into their adult roles: the contractor, the customer, the detective, the pilot, the bank teller, the embezzler, the broker, the milkshake maker. Rushton’s often interweaving lines serve as a formal objective correlative for our interwoven state in this world, which is composed of both the given and the made; the question of why on earth we have chosen what we have made is quietly fuming in every poem. “Honestly, the people / had hoped for more space / to feel spectacular.” The news about that spectacular feeling isn’t good, but knowing Rushton is out there watching, giving a damn, and writing his beautiful poems is reason for hope.’
—Donna Stonecipher

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Nature and Culture
Peter Adey
Reaktion Books, 2014
Outside of yoga class, we don’t pay too much attention to the air we take in every day. Long one of the essential elements to life on earth—from the atmospheric composition that gave life to the coal-forming forests some three hundred million years ago to the air that fuels our most important technologies today—we think little of its incredible properties. In this innovative cultural and scientific history, Peter Adey takes stock of the great ocean of air that surrounds us, exploring our attempts to understand, engineer, make sense of, and find meaning in it.
Adey examines how humans have managed and manipulated air as a natural resource and, in doing so, have been taken to the limits of survival, brought to high-altitude mountain peaks, subterranean worlds, and the troughs of new moral depths. Going beyond how vital air has been to our philosophical, scientific, and technological pursuits, he also reveals the way that the artistic and literary imagination has been lifted through air and how, in air, cultures have learned to express and inspire each other. Combining established figures such as Joseph Priestley, John Scott Haldane, and Marie Curie with unlikely individuals from painting, literature, and poetry, this richly illustrated book unlocks new perspectives into the science and culture of this pervasive but unnoticed substance.

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"Air of Solitude" Followed by "Requiem"
Gustave Roud
Seagull Books, 2019
Gustave Roud, perhaps the most beloved poet of Swiss Romandy, is widely considered the founder of modern francophone Swiss literature, along with Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. Roud lived at his grandfather’s farm in Carrouge, Canton Vaud, for his entire life. In Air of Solitude, the first section of this two-part book, he stalks the structures and fields of his youth, composing memories out of his landscape. The narrator appears homegrown, expressing nostalgia for what is already in front of him. Yet, like an outsider, he remains distinctly elsewhere, unable to participate in the workday rituals of the men around him—a stalking shadow of unfulfilled yearning for affection and belonging. Air of Solitude explores the rural bodies and lives of the Vaudois, returning again and again to the desired male laborer Aimé.
Between each section of Air of Solitude, Roud inserts short vignettes that provide fleeting and lyrical images that resemble allusions to half-forgotten memories. However, Roud leaves the relationship between the titled sections and the interludes ambiguous. As the book concludes with Requiem, the remnants of narrative shatter, leaving behind only the spectral tatters of memory as Roud confronts the enigma of loss in peerless, jewel-studded elegiac prose. With these two tales, Roud revives the pastoral tradition and injects it with distinctly modernist anxiety and disillusionment.

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Blood of the Air
Ama Codjoe
Northwestern University Press, 2020
Blood of the Air creates a new mythology, repurposing spectacle, stereotype, and song. Inspired by the fictions and frictions of the past, each poem in this collection complicates the next. Lush lyrical moments give way to fracture, vulnerability, and reinvention. The title poem—one of several found poems—calls attention to stories told in the wake of sexual violence. In “She Said,” the collection’s longest piece, language culled from the transcript of a seventeenth-century rape trial feels eerily familiar. Formally dexterous and refreshingly bold, the poems in Blood of the Air are urgent, moving, and fiercely imagined. Though blood can flow from the site of a wound, Codjoe seems to say, blood is also a sign of life.

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Breaks in the Air
The Birth of Rap Radio in New York City
John Klaess
Duke University Press, 2022
In Breaks in the Air John Klaess tells the story of rap’s emergence on New York City’s airwaves by examining how artists and broadcasters adapted hip hop’s performance culture to radio. Initially, artists and DJs brought their live practice to radio by buying time on low-bandwidth community stations and building new communities around their shows. Later, stations owned by New York’s African American elite, such as WBLS, reluctantly began airing rap even as they pursued a sound rooted in respectability, urban sophistication, and polish. At the same time, large commercial stations like WRKS programmed rap once it became clear that the music attracted a demographic that was valuable to advertisers. Moving between intimate portraits of single radio shows and broader examinations of the legal, financial, cultural, and political forces that indelibly shaped the sound of rap radio, Klaess shows how early rap radio provides a lens through which to better understand the development of rap music as well as the intertwined histories of sounds, institutions, communities, and legal formations that converged in the post-Civil Rights era.

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Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution
Beth Gardiner
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Nothing is as elemental, as essential to human life, as the air we breathe. Yet around the world, in rich countries and poor ones, it is quietly poisoning us. 

Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future.

In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world.

Clean air feels like a birthright. But it can disappear in a puff of smoke if the rules that protect it are unraveled. At home and around the world, it’s never been more important to understand how progress happened and what dangers might still be in store. Choked shows us that we hold the power to build a cleaner, healthier future: one in which breathing, life’s most basic function, no longer carries a hidden danger.

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Coastal Landscapes
South Jersey from the Air
Kenneth W. Able
Rutgers University Press, 2023
New Jersey has roughly one hundred and thirty miles of coastline, including a wide array of habitats from marshes to ocean beaches, each hosting a unique ecosystem. Yet these coastal landscapes are quite dynamic, changing rapidly as a result of commercial development, environmental protection movements, and of course climate change. Now more than ever, it is vital to document these landscapes before they disappear. 
Based on numerous aerial images from helicopter and drone flights between 2015 and 2021, this book provides extensive photographs and maps of the New Jersey coast, from the Pine Barrens to the ocean beaches. The text associated with each exceptional image describes it in detail, including its location, ecological setting, and relative position within the larger landscape. Author Kenneth Able, director of the Rutgers University Marine Field Station for over thirty years, has thoroughly ground-truthed each image by observations made through kayaks, boats, and wading through marshes. Calling upon his decades of expertise, Able paints a compelling portrait of coastal New Jersey’s stunning natural features, resources, history, and possible futures in an era of rising sea levels. 

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The Command of the Air
Giulio Douhet, translated by Dino Ferrari
University of Alabama Press, 2009

The Italian General Giulio Douhet reigns as one of the twentieth century’s foremost strategic air power theorists. As such scholars as Raymond Flugel have pointed out, Douhet’s theories were crucial at a pivotal pre-World War II Army Air Force institution, the Air Corps Tactical School.


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Communities of the Air
Radio Century, Radio Culture
Susan Merrill Squier, ed.
Duke University Press, 2003
A pioneering analysis of radio as both a cultural and material production, Communities of the Air explores radio’s powerful role in shaping Anglo-American culture and society since the early twentieth century. Scholars and radio writers, producers, and critics look at the many ways radio generates multiple communities over the air—from elite to popular, dominant to resistant, canonical to transgressive. The contributors approach radio not only in its own right, but also as a set of practices—both technological and social—illuminating broader issues such as race relations, gender politics, and the construction of regional and national identities.

Drawing on the perspectives of literary and cultural studies, science studies and feminist theory, radio history, and the new field of radio studies, these essays consider the development of radio as technology: how it was modeled on the telephone, early conflicts between for-profit and public uses of radio, and amateur radio (HAMS), local programming, and low-power radio. Some pieces discuss how radio gives voice to different cultural groups, focusing on the BBC and poetry programming in the West Indies, black radio, the history of alternative radio since the 1970s, and science and contemporary arts programming. Others look at radio’s influence on gender (and gender’s influence on radio) through examinations of Queen Elizabeth’s broadcasts, Gracie Allen’s comedy, and programming geared toward women. Together the contributors demonstrate how attention to the variety of ways radio is used and understood reveals the dynamic emergence and transformation of communities within the larger society.

s. Laurence A. Breiner, Bruce B. Campbell, Mary Desjardins, Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Nina Hunteman, Leah Lowe, Adrienne Munich, Kathleen Newman, Martin Spinelli, Susan Merrill Squier, Donald Ulin, Mark Williams, Steve Wurzler


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Creatures of the Air
Music, Atlantic Spirits, Breath, 1817–1913
J. Q. Davies
University of Chicago Press, 2023
An account of nineteenth-century music in Atlantic worlds told through the history of the art’s elemental medium, the air.

Often experienced as universal and incorporeal, music seems an innocent art form. The air, the very medium by which music constitutes itself, shares with music a claim to invisibility. In Creatures of the Air, J. Q. Davies interrogates these claims, tracing the history of music’s elemental media system in nineteenth-century Atlantic worlds. He posits that air is a poetic domain, and music is an art of that domain.

From West Central African ngombi harps to the European J. S. Bach revival, music expressed elemental truths in the nineteenth century. Creatures of the Air tells these truths through stories about suffocation and breathing, architecture and environmental design, climate strife, and racial turmoil. Contributing to elemental media studies, the energy humanities, and colonial histories, Davies shows how music, no longer just an innocent luxury, is implicated in the struggle for control over air as a precious natural resource. What emerges is a complex political ecology of the global nineteenth century and beyond.

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Empire of the Air
Aviation and the American Ascendancy
Jenifer Van Vleck
Harvard University Press, 2013

From the flights of the Wright brothers through the mass journeys of the jet age, airplanes inspired Americans to reimagine their nation’s place within the world. Now, Jenifer Van Vleck reveals the central role commercial aviation played in the United States’ rise to global preeminence in the twentieth century. As U.S. military and economic influence grew, the federal government partnered with the aviation industry to carry and deliver American power across the globe and to sell the very idea of the “American Century” to the public at home and abroad.

Invented on American soil and widely viewed as a symbol of national greatness, the airplane promised to extend the frontiers of the United States “to infinity,” as Pan American World Airways president Juan Trippe said. As it accelerated the global circulation of U.S. capital, consumer goods, technologies, weapons, popular culture, and expertise, few places remained distant from the influence of Wall Street and Washington. Aviation promised to secure a new type of empire—an empire of the air instead of the land, which emphasized access to markets rather than the conquest of territory and made the entire world America’s sphere of influence.

By the late 1960s, however, foreign airlines and governments were challenging America’s control of global airways, and the domestic aviation industry hit turbulent times. Just as the history of commercial aviation helps to explain the ascendance of American power, its subsequent challenges reflect the limits and contradictions of the American Century.


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The Enigma of Automobility
Democratic Politics and Pollution Control
Sudhir Chella Rajan
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996
Rajan investigates air pollution policy as one based on how to make cars less polluting. Putting the onus on auto manufacturers and owners has generated an elaborate scheme of emissions testing and pollution-control devices, and does not look at the technology itself as the heart of the problem. Rajan focuses his study on data collected in Los Angeles, to show how emissions testing burdens the poor, who tend to own older cars that pollute more. Rajan argues for democratic control over technology, steering it away from special interest groups and toward a long-term ethical resolution.

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Europe - On Air
Interwar Projects for Radio Broadcasting
Suzanne Lommers
Amsterdam University Press, 2012
During the interwar years, broadcast radio became a popular way for Europeans to consume local, national, and international news. The medium not only began to shape European policy and politics, but also laid the foundation for European unification and global interconnectedness. In Europe On Air, Suzanne Lommers has documented the rich and often underexposed history of broadcast radio through the lens of international European relations. She specifically explores the roles of Radio Moscow, Radio Luxembourg, Vatican Radio, and the International Broadcasting Union as institutions that played an important role in national identities and establishing standards for broadcasting. The radio also offered new opportunities to politicians, who seized upon a vibrant and more direct way to communicate with their constituents.
            Essential reading for scholars of technology and European history, Europe–On Air reveals broadcast radio to be a technology that revolutionized international relations during the brief respite between the chaos of war in Europe.


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Explorations In Environmental History
Essays by Samuel P. Hays
Samuel P. Hays
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998
Explorations in Environmental History represents four decades of writing from one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of environmental history.  Samuel Hays’s dedication and research is apparent in every one of these essays, four of which are published here for the first time.

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The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger
By Luce Irigaray
University of Texas Press, 1999

French philosopher Luce Irigaray has become one of the twentieth century's most influential feminist thinkers. Among her many writings are three books (with a projected fourth) in which she challenges the Western tradition's construals of human beings' relations to the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and to nature. In answer to Heidegger's undoing of Western metaphysics as a "forgetting of Being," Irigaray seeks in this work to begin to think out the Being of sexedness and the sexedness of Being.

This volume is the first English translation of L'oubli de l'air chez Martin Heidegger (1983). In this complex, lyrical, meditative engagement with the later work of the eminent German philosopher, Irigaray critiques Heidegger's emphasis on the element of earth as the ground of life and speech and his "oblivion" or forgetting of air.

With the other volumes (Elemental Passions and Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche, published elsewhere) in Irigaray's "elemental" series, The Forgetting of Air offers a fundamental rereading of basic tenets in Western metaphysics. And with its emphasis on dwelling and human habitation, it will be important reading not only in the humanities but also in architecture and the environmental sciences.


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Freedom of the Air and the Public Interest
First Amendment Rights in Broadcasting to 1935
Louise M. Benjamin
Southern Illinois University Press, 2006
A unique and definitive study of freedom of expression rights in electronic media from the 1920s through the mid-1930s, Louise M. Benjamin’s Freedom of the Air and the Public Interest: First Amendment Rights in Broadcasting to 1935 examines the evolution of free speech rights in early radio.

Drawing on primary resources from sixteen archives plus contemporary secondary sources, Benjamin analyzes interactions among the players involved and argues that First Amendment rights in radio evolved in the 1920s and 1930s through the interaction of many entities having social, political, or economic interests in radio. She shows how free speech and First Amendment rights were defined and perceived up to 1935.

Focusing on the evolution of various electronic media rights, Benjamin looks at censorship, speakers’ rights of access to the medium, broadcasters’ rights to use radio as they desired, and listeners’ rights to receive information via the airwaves. With many interested parties involved, conflict was inevitable, resulting in the establishment of industry policies and government legislation—particularly the Radio Act of 1927. Further debate led to the Communications Act of 1934, which has provided the regulatory framework for broadcasting for over sixty years. Controversies caused by new technology today continue to rage over virtually the same rights and issues that Benjamin deals with.


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Futures after Progress
Hope and Doubt in Late Industrial Baltimore
Chloe Ahmann
University of Chicago Press, 2024
A powerful ethnographic study of South Baltimore, a place haunted by toxic pasts in its pursuit of better futures.

Factory fires, chemical explosions, and aerial pollutants have inexorably shaped South Baltimore into one of the most polluted places in the country. In Futures after Progress, anthropologist Chloe Ahmann explores the rise and fall of industrial lifeways on this edge of the city and the uncertainties that linger in their wake. Writing from the community of Curtis Bay, where two hundred years of technocratic hubris have carried lethal costs, Ahmann also follows local efforts to realize a good future after industry and the rifts competing visions opened between neighbors.
Examining tensions between White and Black residents, environmental activists and industrial enthusiasts, local elders and younger generations, Ahmann shows how this community has become a battleground for competing political futures whose stakes reverberate beyond its six square miles in a present after progress has lost steam. And yet—as one young resident explains—“that’s not how the story ends.” Rigorous and moving, Futures after Progress probes the deep roots of our ecological predicament, offering insight into what lies ahead for a country beset by dreams deferred and a planet on the precipice of change.

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Gold Dust on the Air
Television Anthology Drama and Midcentury American Culture
Molly A. Schneider
University of Texas Press, 2024

How mid-century television anthologies reflected and shaped US values and identities.

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, anthology dramas presented “quality” television programming in weekly stand-alone television plays meant to entertain and provide cultural uplift to American society. Programs such as Playhouse 90, Studio One, and The Twilight Zone became important emblems of American creative potential on television. But their propensity for addressing matters of major social concern also meant that they often courted controversy. Although the anthology’s tenure would be brief, its importance in the television landscape would be great, and the ways the format negotiated ideas about “Americanness” at midcentury would be a crucial facet of its significance.

In Gold Dust on the Air, Molly Schneider traces a cultural history of the “Golden Age” anthology, addressing topics such as the format’s association with Method acting and debates about “authentic” American experience, its engagement with ideas about “conformity” in the context of Cold War pressures, and its depictions of war in a medium sponsored by defense contractors. Drawing on archival research, deep textual examination, and scholarship on both television history and broader American culture, Schneider posits the anthology series as a site of struggle over national meaning.


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The Great War in the Air
Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921
John H. Morrow
University of Alabama Press, 2009

"For the general reader as well as the specialist, Morrow's history of the development and significance of airpower during WWI will be considered definitive. He compares the military, technological, and industrial aspects of the air services of the major powers--France, Germany, England, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and the United States--and reveals how, by means of superior production (particularly French engine manufacture), the Allies prevailed in the air war."--Publishers Weekly

"Morrow's encyclopedic examination of aviation's part in World War I concentrates on aircraft engine and airframe production, but the emotional content of contemporary accounts rises to the surface to put a human face on the brutal use of an infant technology. . . . a serious yet readable history of this vital part of the conflict, meant for any reader."--Library Journal

"A comprehensive study of the totality of the air war in its military, political, industrial, and cultural aspects distinguish this book from other treatments of military aviation during this period. . . . Morrow's efforts have yielded new insights into the evolution of military aviation and corrected previous oversights. The author's attention to developments in production and logistics, as well as events at the front, provide the most complete understanding of the development of air power and its role in the Great War."--American Historical Review


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Historic Illinois from the Air
David Buisseret
University of Chicago Press, 1990
"A distinctive and skillful effort to bring facets of Illinois history to a popular as well as an academic audience."—John Hoffman, Illinois Historical Survey, University of Illinois Library

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Historic Texas from the Air
By David Buisseret, Richard Francaviglia, Gerald Saxon, and Jack Graves
University of Texas Press, 2009

The extremely varied geography of Texas, ranging from lush piney woods to arid, mountainous deserts, has played a major role in the settlement and development of the state. To gain full perspective on the influence of the land on the people of Texas, you really have to take to the air—and the authors of Historic Texas from the Air have done just that. In this beautiful book, dramatic aerial photography provides a complete panorama of seventy-three historic sites from around the state, showing them in extensive geographic context and revealing details unavailable to a ground-based observer.

Each site in Historic Texas from the Air appears in a full-page color photograph, accompanied by a concise description of the site's history and importance. Contemporary and historical photographs, vintage postcard images, and maps offer further visual information about the sites. The book opens with images of significant natural landforms, such as the Chisos Mountains and the Big Thicket, then shows the development of Texas history through Indian spiritual sites (including Caddo Mounds and Enchanted Rock), relics from the French and Spanish occupation (such as the wreck of the Belle and the Alamo), Anglo forts and methods of communication (including Fort Davis and Salado's Stagecoach Inn), nineteenth-century settlements and industries (such as Granbury's courthouse square and Kreische Brewery in La Grange), and significant twentieth-century locales, (including Spindletop, the LBJ Ranch, and the Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport).

For anyone seeking a visual, vital overview of Texas history, Historic Texas from the Air is the perfect place to begin.


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Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
Peter Thorsheim
Ohio University Press, 2006

Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.

In this far-reaching study, Peter Thorsheim explains that, for much of the nineteenth century, few people in Britain even considered coal smoke to be pollution. To them, pollution meant miasma: invisible gases generated by decomposing plant and animal matter. Far from viewing coal smoke as pollution, most people considered smoke to be a valuable disinfectant, for its carbon and sulfur were thought capable of rendering miasma harmless.

Inventing Pollution examines the radically new understanding of pollution that emerged in the late nineteenth century, one that centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion. This change, as Peter Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.


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The Light Crust Doughboys Are on the Air
Celebrating Seventy Years of Texas Music
John Mark Dempsey
University of North Texas Press, 2002

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Master of the Air
William Tunner and the Success of Military Airlift
Robert A. Slayton
University of Alabama Press, 2010
In 1948, just as the Cold War was settling into the form it would maintain for nearly half a century, major antagonists the US and the USSR began maneuvering into a series of dangerously hostile encounters. Trouble had broken out in Poland and Czechoslovakia, but it was in Germany, which had been at the heart of World Wars One and Two, that the first potentially explosive confrontation developed. The USSR, which had suffered more at Germany’s hands than the rest of the Allies combined, may have viewed developments there with heightened fear and irritability. When the western Allies moved to consolidate their areas of control in occupied Germany, the USSR responded by cutting off land access to West Berlin, holding over two million residents of that city hostage in an aggressive act of brinkmanship.

Into this difficult situation the US placed General William Henry Tunner. He was given a task that seemed doomed to failure—to supply a major city by air with everything it needed to survive from food to a winter’s supply of coal—and made it a brilliant success, astonishing the world in a major public relations defeat for the Soviets, and demonstrating the unexpected capacity of air fleets in a postwar world.

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The Matter of Air
Science and Art of the Ethereal
Steven Connor
Reaktion Books, 2010

Take a deep breath. Air—without it, life on Earth would cease to exist. Though not usually seen, its presence is relied upon. At once both ethereal and physical, air has been associated with flight and spirit, and yet it has progressively become a territory that can be claimed through communications, warfare, travel, and scientific exploration. At the same time, air is no longer a completely reliable part of our daily life: like water, it has become an environmental element that must be watched closely for quality and purity.

            A Matter of Air investigates the meanings of air over the last three centuries, including our modern concern over emissions and climate change. Steven Connor looks at the human relationship with air, both positive and negative. His explorations include the dangers posed by radio atmospherics, poison gas, and haze as well as our continued fascination with effervescence and explosives. Drawing ideas from religion, science, art, literature, and philosophy, A Matter of Air creates a comprehensive history of the human perception of air. Thoroughly researched and written with wit and quirky enthusiasm, the book will appeal to a wide range of general readers interested in the environment, human history, and our most essential aspects of life.


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Money in the Air
Art Dealers and the Making of a Transatlantic Market, 1880–1930
Gail Feigenbaum
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2024
This volume explores the crucial role of art dealers in creating a transatlantic art market in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

“There was money in the air, ever so much money,” wrote Henry James in 1907, reflecting on the American appetite for art acquisitions. Indeed, collectors such as Henry Clay Frick and Andrew W. Mellon are credited with bringing noteworthy European art to the United States, with their collections forming the backbone of major American museums today. But what of the dealers, who possessed the expertise in art and recognized the potential of developing a new market model on both sides of the Atlantic?

Money in the Air investigates the often-overlooked role of these dealers in creating an international art world. Contributors examine the histories of well-known international firms like Duveen Brothers, M. Knoedler & Co., and Goupil & Cie and their relationships with American clients, as well as accounts of other remarkable dealers active in the transatlantic art market. Drawing on dealer archives, scholars reveal compelling findings, including previously unknown partnerships and systems of cooperation. This volume offers new perspectives on the development of art collections that formed the core of American art museums, such as the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Frick Collection.

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Movements of Air
The Photographs from Étienne-Jules Marey’s Wind Tunnels
Georges Didi-Huberman and Laurent Mannoni
Diaphanes, 2022
Two important essays on Étienne-Jules Marey published for the first time in English alongside his breathtaking images of moving air and smoke.

Featuring more than one hundred and fifty photographs and images, Movements of Air reprints the breathtaking pictures of Étienne-Jules Marey—images captured between 1899 and 1901 during his scientific experiments with moving air and smoke—and complements them with essays by Georges Didi-Huberman and Laurent Mannoni.
Mannoni begins by reflecting on Marey’s experimental approach. As the founder of the “graphic method,” Marey was also the developer of an aerodynamic wind tunnel. His experiments’ photographs of fluid motion introduced a whole world of movements and turbulences, and fluids, and influenced generations of scientists and artists alike. Didi-Huberman expands on the philosophical debates surrounding these aesthetically and technically instructive images. Even though Marey’s main interest was graphic information, Didi-Huberman shows us how the flow of all things drew this ingenious experimenter to a photographic practice that creates drags, streaks, expansions, and visual dances. Marey’s wind tunnel photographs were also themselves causes of turbulence in the history of images. The artists Dombois and Oeschger explore these “graphical” vortices of the last 120 years, providing at the end of the book a collage from historical and contemporary material interlaced with their own image-making in Dombois’s wind tunnel at the Zurich University of the Arts.

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Neighboring on the Air
Cooking KMA Radio Homemakers
Evelyn Birkby
University of Iowa Press, 1991

In 1925 Earl May began broadcasting KMA Radio-960 from Shenandoah, Iowa, to boost his fledgling seed business. The station aired practical information designed to help with the day-to-day activity in midwestern farmhouse kitchens. Before long KMA was a trusted friend throughout the wide listening area, offering inspiration, companionship, and all manners of domestic counsel. Hosting the daily radio programs—Home Hour, the Stitch and Chat Club, and the KMA Party Line—and the live cooking demonstrations that drew thousands to the KMA auditorium was a changing roster of personable, lively women who quickly became known as the KMA Radio Homemakers.

Now, in Neighboring on the Air, we can hear the voices of the KMA homemakers and sample their philosophy and—best of all—cooking. Through recipes, biographies, and household advice we get to know such enduring women as "The Little Minister," the Reverend Edythe Stirlen, and Leanna Driftmier and the whole Kitchen-Klatter family, part of the longest-running homemaker program in the history of radio. Learn how to make Sour Cream Apple Pie from "The Farmer's Wife," Florence Falk; Varnished Chicken from the first long-term KMA Radio Homemaker, Jessie Young; and E.E.E. Missouri Dessert (nobody can remember what the "E.E.E." stands for) from the indomitable host of the Edith Hansen Kitchen Club. This endearing scrapbook of people, places, and foods charts the continuing adventure of the KMA homemakers as they broadcast into the 1990s. Neighboring on the Air is an enchanting piece of Americana. Anyone interested in cooking, cultural history, or the Midwest will want to own and use this book.


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Objects in Air
Artworks and Their Outside around 1900
Margareta Ingrid Christian
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Margareta Ingrid Christian unpacks the ways in which, around 1900, art scholars, critics, and choreographers wrote about the artwork as an actual object in real time and space, surrounded and fluently connected to the viewer through the very air we breathe. Theorists such as Aby Warburg, Alois Riegl, Rainer Maria Rilke, and the choreographer Rudolf Laban drew on the science of their time to examine air as the material space surrounding an artwork, establishing its “milieu,” “atmosphere,” or “environment.” Christian explores how the artwork’s external space was seen to work as an aesthetic category in its own right, beginning with Rainer Maria Rilke’s observation that Rodin’s sculpture “exhales an atmosphere” and that Cezanne’s colors create “a calm, silken air” that pervades the empty rooms where the paintings are exhibited.

Writers created an early theory of unbounded form that described what Christian calls an artwork’s ecstasis or its ability to stray outside its limits and engender its own space. Objects viewed in this perspective complicate the now-fashionable discourse of empathy aesthetics, the attention to self-projecting subjects, and the idea of the modernist self-contained artwork. For example, Christian invites us to historicize the immersive spatial installations and “environments” that have arisen since the 1960s and to consider their origins in turn-of-the-twentieth-century aesthetics. Throughout this beautifully written work, Christian offers ways for us to rethink entrenched narratives of aesthetics and modernism and to revisit alternatives.

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On the Wing
American Poems of Air and Space Flight
Olsen, Karen Yelena
University of Iowa Press, 2005
From Kitty Hawk to the jumbo jet and from the lunar landing to interstellar probes, American poets in On the Wing explore the phenomena of aviation and space flight. Edited by Karen Yelena Olsen, this balanced yet buoyant anthology collects 116 poems. The six thematic sections celebrate past achievements and the sensuous joys of flying (“Impulse of Delight”), revel in the vistas opening to the airborne traveler (“Worlds Above, Below, Within”), ponder the impact of air travel on everyday life (“Airplane Visions, Airport Truths”), outline the sinister role of the airplane in war (“Angle of Attack”), lament the shadow of airborne tragedy (“Icarus Falling”), and explore the mythic dimensions of space flight (“Space Odysseys”).
Olsen’s introduction traces the prehistory of flight literature from the Bible to the 19th century and sketches the evolution of 20th-century response, from initial exuberance to a more nuanced and probing examination of aviation and aerospace as they affect our lives. The book includes a short history of flight in the U.S. The product of a lifetime’s passion for both flight and poetry, this collection will deeply interest those who have never been on a plane—and delight those who have.

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Ozone Diplomacy
New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet
Richard Elliot Benedick
Harvard University Press, 1991

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Ozone Diplomacy
New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet, Enlarged Edition
Richard Elliot Benedick
Harvard University Press, 1998

Hailed in the Foreign Service Journal as “a landmark book that should command the attention of every serious student of American diplomacy, international environmental issues, or the art of negotiation,” and cited in Nature for its “worthwhile insights on the harnessing of science and diplomacy,” the first edition of Ozone Diplomacy offered an insider’s view of the politics, economics, science, and diplomacy involved in creating the precedent-setting treaty to protect the Earth: the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The first edition ended with a discussion of the revisions to the protocol in 1990 and offered lessons for global diplomacy regarding the then just-maturing climate change issue. Now Richard Benedick—a principal architect and the chief U.S. negotiator of the historic treaty—expands the ozone story, bringing us to the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. He describes subsequent negotiations to deal with unexpected major scientific discoveries and important amendments adding new chemicals and accelerating the phaseout schedules. Implementing the revised treaty has forced the protocol’s signatories to confront complex economic and political problems, including North–South financial and technology transfer issues, black markets for banned CFCs, revisionism, and industry’s willingness and ability to develop new technologies and innovative substitutes. In his final chapter Benedick offers a new analysis applying the lessons of the ozone experience to ongoing climate change negotiations.

Ozone Diplomacy has frequently been cited as the definitive book on the most successful environment treaty, and is essential reading for those concerned about the future of our planet.


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Palestine on the Air
Karma R. Chavez
University of Illinois Press, 2019
Few doubt the pro-Israel bias of the Western media. It takes the form of overtly supporting Israel's government policies, or of maintaining neutrality or silence on issues of Israeli violence, occupation, and settlement expansion. Scholar and activist Karma R. Chávez collects eleven interviews that allow dissenting voices a forum to provide rarely heard perspectives on the Palestinian struggle for justice, land, and self-determination.This volume in the Common Threads series is a supplement to the Journal of Civil and Human Rights. The conversations within took place on a radio program Chávez hosted from 2013-16. There, journalists, activists, academic figures, authors, and Palestinian citizens of Israel shared a wide range of thoughts and experiences. Participants covered topics that include: everyday life for Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel; the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that arose in response to Israel's ongoing actions; the Steven Salaita controversy at the University of Illinois; the pro-Palestine social movement on college campuses; Israel's pinkwashing of human rights abuses; the aftermath of the 2014 attack on Gaza; and Chávez's 2015 visit to the West Bank.

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Particles in Our Air
Exposures and Health Effects
John Daniel Spengler
Harvard University Press, 1996
It is no secret that the burning of fossil fuels causes air pollution and adversely affects the health of the human population. Over the last 10 years, research has been providing new insight about the health consequences of particulate air pollution. Generated by the use of fossil energy, respirable-sized particles pose a major threat to our environment and health. In this book the hypothesis that fossil fuels are the primary culprit is examined in detail, including the nature, generation, and transport of particulate air pollution. The authors cite studies on animals and epidemiological studies—those showing acute effects soon after exposure and those exhibiting chronic effects decades later—and include models describing mechanisms by which the effects of fine particulates can be induced. Through its probing inquiry, this book makes clear that present levels of air pollution, even in countries with aggressive environmental controls, are a health hazard that must be contended with.

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Pictures in the Air
The Story of the National Theatre of the Deaf
Stephen C. Baldwin
Gallaudet University Press, 1994
Now available in paperback; ISBN 1-56368-140-4

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Poisonous Skies
Acid Rain and the Globalization of Pollution
Rachel Emma Rothschild
University of Chicago Press, 2019
The climate change reckoning looms. As scientists try to discern what the Earth’s changing weather patterns mean for our future, Rachel Rothschild seeks to understand the current scientific and political debates surrounding the environment through the history of another global environmental threat: acid rain.
The identification of acid rain in the 1960s changed scientific and popular understanding of fossil fuel pollution’s potential to cause regional—and even global—environmental harms. It showed scientists that the problem of fossil fuel pollution was one that crossed borders—it could travel across vast stretches of the earth’s atmosphere to impact ecosystems around the world. This unprecedented transnational reach prompted governments, for the first time, to confront the need to cooperate on pollution policies, transforming environmental science and diplomacy. Studies of acid rain and other pollutants brought about a reimagining of how to investigate the natural world as a complete entity, and the responses of policy makers, scientists, and the public set the stage for how societies have approached other prominent environmental dangers on a global scale, most notably climate change.
Grounded in archival research spanning eight countries and five languages, as well as interviews with leading scientists from both government and industry, Poisonous Skies is the first book to examine the history of acid rain in an international context. By delving deep into our environmental past, Rothschild hopes to inform its future, showing us how much is at stake for the natural world as well as what we risk—and have already risked—by not acting.

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Risking a Somersault in the Air
Conversations with Nicaraguan Writers
Margaret Randall
Northwestern University Press, 1995
On July 19, 1979 the Nicaraguan people, under the banner of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, overthrew the 40-year-long Somoza family tyranny. Amongst those playing major roles in this popular revolution were many of the nation's leading poets and writers. Today, these men and women are focusing their creativity on the tasks of constructing a new nation and a new Nicaraguan culture. Through these interviews with 14 of Nicaragua's most important writers/revolutionaries we come to learn that Nicaragua's revolution, like its poetry, is an expression of great love, imagination and liberation.

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Sailor Of The Air
The 1917-1919 Letters and Diary of USN CMM/A Irving Edward Sheely
Lawrence D. Sheely
University of Alabama Press, 1993

In the winter of 1917, with most of the world at war, twenty-three-year-old Irving Edward Sheely of Albany, New York, enlisted in Naval Aviation and began his training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. When Congress declared ware on Germany on April 6, 1917, the combined strength of aviation within the Navy and Marine Corps was 48 officers, 239 enlisted men, 54 airplanes, one airship, and one air station.

Lieutenant Kenneth Whiting immediately recruited seven volunteer officers and 122 volunteer enlisted men with orders to go directly to France as the First Aeronautical Detachment. By June, the first organized contingent of American forces arrived in the combat zone at St. Nazaire, France—woefully unprepared to take on the mighty submarine force of Imperial Germany. Among this small detachment was Landsman Machinist Mate Second Class Irving E. Sheely.
Trained by American and foreign officers, using both American and foreign aircraft, Sheely learned aviation and aviation combat at the heart of the action. He served as Observer/Gunlayer with Navy Lieutenant Kenneth MacLeish as pilot, and the two participated in some of the first antisubmarine air patrols in history, including a sea landing to rescue a downed crew. While at Clermont-Ferrand, Sheely developed an improved bombsight, for which he was praised by MacLeish. Following the Armistice, Sheely participated in the closing of the Navy base at Eastleigh, England, and returned to the United States in November 1918.
Utilizing Sheely’s correspondence and meticulous diary spanning 19 months of training and service—mostly on foreign soil and in foreign aircraft—this book presents an unusual first person account of the wartime experience of naval aviation in World War I. Sheely’s letters and diary describe the many deprivations and inadequacies of the aviation program and show clearly the sacrifices made by the officers and enlisted men. He supplied for himself items, such as helmet and goggles, that later servicemen would expect the military to issue. In addition to wartime description, the letters reveal the young man’s concern for his family and his interest in home, so a very human story emerges.

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Science on the Air
Popularizers and Personalities on Radio and Early Television
Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Mr. Wizard’s World. Bill Nye the Science Guy. NPR’s Science Friday. These popular television and radio programs broadcast science into the homes of millions of viewers and listeners. But these modern series owe much of their success to the pioneering efforts of early-twentieth-century science shows like Adventures in Science and “Our Friend the Atom.” Science on the Air is the fascinating history of the evolution of popular science in the first decades of the broadcasting era.

Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette transports readers to the early days of radio, when the new medium allowed innovative and optimistic scientists the opportunity to broadcast serious and dignified presentations over the airwaves. But the exponential growth of listenership in the 1920s, from thousands to millions, and the networks’ recognition that each listener represented a potential consumer, turned science on the radio into an opportunity to entertain, not just educate.

Science on the Air chronicles the efforts of science popularizers, from 1923 until the mid-1950s, as they negotiated topic, content, and tone in order to gain precious time on the air. Offering a new perspective on the collision between science’s idealistic and elitist view of public communication and the unbending economics of broadcasting, LaFollette rewrites the history of the public reception of science in the twentieth century and the role that scientists and their institutions have played in both encouraging and inhibiting popularization. By looking at the broadcasting of the past, Science on the Air raises issues of concern to all those who seek to cultivate a scientifically literate society today.

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Selling the Air
A Critique of the Policy of Commercial Broadcasting in the United States
Thomas Streeter
University of Chicago Press, 1996
In this interdisciplinary study of the laws and policies associated with commercial radio and television, Thomas Streeter reverses the usual take on broadcasting and markets by showing that government regulation creates rather than intervenes in the market. Analyzing the processes by which commercial media are organized, Streeter asks how it is possible to take the practice of broadcasting—the reproduction of disembodied sounds and pictures for dissemination to vast unseen audiences—and constitute it as something that can be bought, owned, and sold.

With an impressive command of broadcast history, as well as critical and cultural studies of the media, Streeter shows that liberal marketplace principles—ideas of individuality, property, public interest, and markets—have come into contradiction with themselves. Commercial broadcasting is dependent on government privileges, and Streeter provides a searching critique of the political choices of corporate liberalism that shape our landscape of cultural property and electronic intangibles.

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Sparks Flew
WOSU's Century on the Air
Thomas M. Rieland
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
Wireless Morse code began a new age of communications, magically sending invisible waves through the ether received at some distant place. Among the first universities to experiment in this unknown world was The Ohio State University, which became one of the first educational broadcast stations and a think tank for the future of public service radio—pioneering radio audience research and serving as an innovative school of the air.
Sparks Flew is a rich story of creative, tenacious men and women working in a new medium that commercial enterprises soon dominated. At any moment in time, educational broadcasting could have failed if not for a few land-grant institutions like The Ohio State University and prominent stations like WOSU that supported the medium. Sparks Flew is the untold story, a century in the making, of one institution and one educational station that represent the roots of today’s public broadcasting system.

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Speaking into the Air
A History of the Idea of Communication
John Durham Peters
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Communication plays a vital and unique role in society-often blamed for problems when it breaks down and at the same time heralded as a panacea for human relations. A sweeping history of communication, Speaking Into the Air illuminates our expectations of communication as both historically specific and a fundamental knot in Western thought.

"This is a most interesting and thought-provoking book. . . . Peters maintains that communication is ultimately unthinkable apart from the task of establishing a kingdom in which people can live together peacefully. Given our condition as mortals, communication remains not primarily a problem of technology, but of power, ethics and art." —Antony Anderson, New Scientist

"Guaranteed to alter your thinking about communication. . . . Original, erudite, and beautifully written, this book is a gem." —Kirkus Reviews

"Peters writes to reclaim the notion of authenticity in a media-saturated world. It's this ultimate concern that renders his book a brave, colorful exploration of the hydra-headed problems presented by a rapid-fire popular culture." —Publishers Weekly

What we have here is a failure-to-communicate book. Funny thing is, it communicates beautifully. . . . Speaking Into the Air delivers what superb serious books always do-hours of intellectual challenge as one absorbs the gradually unfolding vision of an erudite, creative author." —Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer

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Toxic Airs
Body, Place, Planet in Historical Perspective
James Rodger Fleming
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014
Toxic Airs brings together historians of medicine, environmental historians, historians of science and technology, and interdisciplinary scholars to address atmospheric issues on a spectrum of scales from body to place to planet. The chapters analyze airborne and atmospheric threats posed to humans, and contributors demonstrate how conceptions of toxicity have evolved and how humans have both created and mitigated toxins in the air.

Specific topics discussed include medieval beliefs in the pestilent breath of witches, malarial theory in India, domestic and military use of tear gas, Gulf War Syndrome, Los Angeles smog, automotive emissions control, the epidemiological effects of air pollution, transboundary air pollution, ozone depletion, the contributions of contemporary artists to climate awareness, and the toxic history of carbon “die”-oxide. Overall, the essays provide a wide-ranging historical study of interest to students and scholars of many disciplines.

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Utah's Air Quality Issues
Problems and Solutions
Edited by Hal Crimmel
University of Utah Press, 2019
Although Utah is a land of outdoor wonders, the state has a distressing air pollution problem. In some areas like Salt Lake City, geography exacerbates the issue; air quality in the Wasatch Front metropolitan region often ranks among the worst in the nation.
Utah’s Air Quality Issues: Problems and Solutions is the first book to tackle the subject.  Written by scholars in a variety of fields, including chemical engineering, economics, atmospheric science, health care, law, parks and recreation and public policy, the book provides a one-stop resource on the causes, impacts, and possible solutions to the state’s air quality dilemma. This volume is a must read for anyone wanting to understand Utah’s air pollution problem and what can be done about it.

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Weather on the Air
A History of Broadcast Meteorology
Robert Henson
American Meteorological Society, 2010

From low humor to high drama, TV weather reporting has encompassed an enormous range of styles and approaches, triggering chuckles, infuriating the masses, and at times even saving lives. In Weather on the Air,meteorologist and science journalist Robert Henson covers it all—the people, technology, science, and show business that combine to deliver the weather to the public each day.

The first comprehensive history of its kind, Weather on the Air explores the many forces that have shaped weather broadcasts over the years, including the long-term drive to professionalize weathercasting, the complex relations between government and private forecasters, and the effects of climate-change science and the Internet on today’s broadcasts. Dozens of photos and anecdotes accompany Henson’s more than two decades of research to document the evolution of weathercasts, from their primitive beginnings on the radio to the high-gloss, graphics-laden segments we watch on television every morning.

This engaging study will be an invaluable tool for students of broadcast meteorology and mass communication and an entertaining read for anyone fascinated by the public face of weather.


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What's Fair on the Air?
Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest
Heather Hendershot
University of Chicago Press, 2011
The rise of right-wing broadcasting during the Cold War has been mostly forgotten today. But in the 1950s and ’60s you could turn on your radio any time of the day and listen to diatribes against communism, civil rights, the United Nations, fluoridation, federal income tax, Social Security, or JFK, as well as hosannas praising Barry Goldwater and Jesus Christ. Half a century before the rise of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, these broadcasters bucked the FCC’s public interest mandate and created an alternate universe of right-wing political coverage, anticommunist sermons, and pro-business bluster.
A lively look back at this formative era, What’s Fair on the Air? charts the rise and fall of four of the most prominent right-wing broadcasters: H. L. Hunt, Dan Smoot, Carl McIntire, and Billy James Hargis. By the 1970s, all four had been hamstrung by the Internal Revenue Service, the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine, and the rise of a more effective conservative movement. But before losing their battle for the airwaves, Heather Hendershot reveals, they purveyed ideological notions that would eventually triumph, creating a potent brew of religion, politics, and dedication to free-market economics that paved the way for the rise of Ronald Reagan, the Moral Majority, Fox News, and the Tea Party.

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Wisconsin on the Air
100 Years of Public Broadcasting in the State That Invented It
Jack Mitchell
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2016

On a wintry evening in 1917, university professor Earle Terry listened with guests as the popular music of the day filtered from a physics laboratory in Science Hall into a receiving set in his living room. Little did they know that one hundred years of public service broadcasting had just begun. Terry’s radio experiment blossomed into a pioneering endeavor to carry out the "Wisconsin Idea," a promise to make the university’s knowledge accessible to all Wisconsinites, in their homes, statewide, a Progressive-era principle that still guides public broadcasting in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. In 1947, television was added to this public service model with Channel 21 in Madison, produced, like radio, from the University of Wisconsin campus. By 1967, when the Public Broadcasting Act created the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), the Wisconsin stations had been broadcasting for fifty years. A history one hundred years in the making, Wisconsin on the Air introduces readers to the personalities and philosophies, the funding challenges and legislation, the original Wisconsin programming and pioneering technology that gave us public radio and television. Author Jack Mitchell, who developed All Things Considered for NPR before becoming the head of Wisconsin Public Radio, deftly maps public broadcasting’s hundred-year journey by charting Wisconsin’s transition from the early days of radio and television to educational broadcasting to the news, information, and music of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television.


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Words on the Air
Essays on Language, Manners, Morals, and Laws
John Sparrow
University of Chicago Press, 1981
Proper words in proper places, remarked Dean Swift, make the true definition of style. According to this definition, John Sparrow fully qualifies as a stylist. His skillful compound of wit, pungency, and accurate observation, his irreverence, his ear for language and hatred of cant are unsurpassed. This book brings together pieces broadcast by the BBC, a series of lectures at the University of Chicago, and, even, a university sermon. It proves that John Sparrow is one of those rare people whose spoken words lose none of their power when translated to the printed page.

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Writing in the Air
Heterogeneity and the Persistence of Oral Tradition in Andean Literatures
Antonio Cornejo Polar
Duke University Press, 2013
Originally published in 1994, Writing in the Air is one of the most significant books of modern Latin American literary and cultural criticism. In this seminal work, the influential Latin American literary critic Antonio Cornejo Polar offers the most extended articulation of his efforts to displace notions of hybridity or "mestizaje" dominant in Latin American cultural studies with the concept of heterogeneity: the persistent interaction of cultural difference that cannot be resolved in synthesis. He reexamines encounters between Spanish and indigenous Andean cultural systems in the New World from the Conquest into the 1980s. Through innovative readings of narratives of conquest and liberation, homogenizing nineteenth- and twentieth-century discourses, and contemporary Andean literature, he rejects the dominance of the written word over oral literature. Cornejo Polar decenters literature as the primary marker of Latin American cultural identity, emphasizing instead the interlacing of multiple narratives that generates the heterogeneity of contemporary Latin American culture.

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