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About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self
Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures.

Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form. 

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Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life
Fabrizio Amerini
Harvard University Press, 2013

In contemporary discussions of abortion, both sides argue well-worn positions, particularly concerning the question, When does human life begin? Though often invoked by the Catholic Church for support, Thomas Aquinas in fact held that human life begins after conception, not at the moment of union. But his overall thinking on questions of how humans come into being, and cease to be, is more subtle than either side in this polarized debate imagines. Fabrizio Amerini--an internationally renowned scholar of medieval philosophy--does justice to Aquinas's views on these controversial issues.

Some pro-life proponents hold that Aquinas's position is simply due to faulty biological knowledge, and if he knew what we know today about embryology, he would agree that human life begins at conception. Others argue that nothing Aquinas could learn from modern biology would have changed his mind. Amerini follows the twists and turns of Aquinas's thinking to reach a nuanced and detailed solution in the final chapters that will unsettle familiar assumptions and arguments.

Systematically examining all the pertinent texts and placing each in historical context, Amerini provides an accurate reconstruction of Aquinas's account of the beginning and end of human life and assesses its bioethical implications for today. This major contribution is available to an English-speaking audience through translation by Mark Henninger, himself a noted scholar of medieval philosophy.


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The Beginning of History
Value Struggles and Global Capital
Massimo De Angelis
Pluto Press, 2007
Francis Fukuyama may declare the "end of history," and neoliberal capital embraces this belief. However, the diverse struggles for commons and dignity around the planet reveal a different reality: that of the beginning of history. The clash between these two perspectives is the subject matter of this book. This book analyzes the frontline of this struggle. On one side, a social force called capital pursues endless growth and monetary value. On the other side, other social forces strive to rearrange the web of life on their own terms. This book engages with alternative modes of coproduction recently posed by the alter-globalization movement, and it examines what these movements are up against. This passionate account explores groundbreaking new critical political economic theory and its role in bringing about radical social change. This book is a must for all political activists and students of political theory.

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The Beginning of Wisdom
Reading Genesis
Leon R. Kass
University of Chicago Press, 2006
As ardent debates over creationism fill the front pages of newspapers, Genesis has never been more timely. And as Leon R. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, it’s also timeless.

Examining Genesis in a philosophical light, Kass presents it not as a story of what happened long ago, but as the enduring story of humanity itself. He asserts that the first half of Genesis contains insights about human nature that “rival anything produced by the great philosophers.” Kass here reads these first stories—from Adam and Eve to the tower of Babel—as a mirror for self-discovery that reveals truths about human reason, speech, freedom, sexual desire, pride, shame, anger, and death. Taking a step further in the second half of his book, Kass explores the struggles in Genesis to launch a new way of life that addresses mankind’s morally ambiguous nature by promoting righteousness and holiness.

Even readers who don’t agree with Kass’s interpretations will find The Beginning of Wisdom acompelling book—a masterful philosophical take on one of the world’s seminal religious texts.

“Extraordinary. . . . Its analyses and hypotheses will leave no reader’s understanding of Genesis unchanged.” —New York Times

“A learned and fluent, delightfully overstuffed stroll through the Gates of Eden. . . . Mix Harold Bloom with Stephen Jay Gould and you’ll get something like Kass. A wonderfully intelligent reading of Genesis.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Throughout his book, Kass uses fruitful, fascinating techniques for getting at the heart of Genesis. . . . Innumerable times [he] makes a reader sit back and rethink what has previously been tediously familiar or baffling.”—Washington Post
“It is important to state that this is a book not merely rich, but prodigiously rich with insight. Kass is a marvelous reader, sensitive and careful. His interpretations surprise again and again with their cogency and poignancy.”—Jerusalem Post

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Beginning the Quest
Law and Politics in the Early Work of Eric Voegelin
Barry Cooper
University of Missouri Press, 2009
Beginning the Quest by Barry Cooper provides an analysis of the legal and political writings of Eric Voegelin during the 1920s and 1930s. The subject matter of his analyses during this time period was quite distinct from the focus of his concerns thirty years later.

It has often been noted that Voegelin was a pupil of Hans Kelsen, the author of the postwar Austrian constitution and one of the great legal minds of the twentieth century. The significance of the fact that Voegelin began his academic life as a legal scholar has not, however, been emphasized, though his background provides a strong contrast with that of his contemporaries Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt.

Beginning the Quest opens with Voegelin’s efforts, following the trauma of defeat in World War I, at understanding the relation of law and the study of law (Staatslehre) to what he then called “sociohistorical reality.” Much of this writing consisted of methodological analysis and criticism centered chiefly on the status of neo-Kantian philosophy as the basis for what we now call the social sciences. Voegelin wished to push the scientific understanding of sociohistorical reality beyond the scope afforded by German social science.

Cooper discusses Voegelin’s first systematic effort to bring together the principles of philosophical anthropology (including philosophy of history) with his understanding of comparative social science and a theory of law more comprehensive than Kelsen’s. In developing his argument, Voegelin discovered the centrality of what he called “political ideas.”

Cooper also deals with Voegelin’s The Authoritarian State (1936), which argues that Austria was more an administrative unit than a body politic. It was, to say the least, a startling analysis, but one that reappeared in later writings as well, especially in The New Science of Politics.

As a final point, Cooper deals with the concept of “political religions” that Voegelin developed in the 1938 book of that name. Just as the Austrians were groping toward the formation of a body politic, so too were the Germans. Instead of the authoritarian state being the form that the German “political people” attained, it was, as Voegelin showed in his race books, quite different. Voegelin developed the term political religion to describe the animating core of the National Socialist regime. The formation of this concept reveals that Voegelin had moved from a focus on the legal structure of a polity to its spiritual order—in the example of Nazi Germany, an unquestionably “Satanic” order.

Cooper concludes that just as the great crisis of Voegelin’s youth—World War I and its aftermath—led him to question the received premises of the Staatslehre tradition in which he was schooled, so did the crisis resulting in World War II lead him to develop ever-more-comprehensive accounts of the disorder and political convulsions of the day. The “quest” of the title of this study continued until Voegelin’s death.

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Beginning to End the Climate Crisis
A History of Our Future
Luisa Neubauer and Alexander Repenning
Brandeis University Press, 2023
There is no planet B. Activists share how we must inform and organize ourselves to save the future.
“Act as though your house is on fire. Because it is.” Following Greta Thunberg, millions of young climate activists have been taking to the streets around the globe as part of the Fridays For Future movement. They demand that we “unite behind the science,” as, for too long, climate scientists have been ringing the alarm bells about rising temperatures, tipping points, and the devastating consequences of extreme weather—but politicians do nothing.
So how do you begin to end the climate crisis? Luisa Neubauer and Alexander Repenning begin by telling stories. Neubauer cofounded the youth climate activist group in Germany and has become its most prominent voice. In this book she and Repenning weave in personal accounts of their evolution as climate activists with a thorough analysis of how climate change impacts their generation, and what every one of us can and must do about it. The young and old in the United States and around the world can learn valuable lessons from their European counterparts.

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Beginning to See the Light
Sex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll
Ellen Willis
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

From the New Yorker’s inimitable first pop music critic comes this pioneering collection of essays by a conscientious writer whose political realm is both radical and rational, and whose prime preoccupations are with rock ’n’ roll, sexuality, and above all, freedom. Here Ellen Willis assuredly captures the thrill of music, the disdain of authoritarian culture, and the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and ’70s.


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Beginning with Plato
Joseph Warren Beach
University of Minnesota Press, 1944

Beginning with Plato was first published in 1944. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

These selected poems of Joseph Warren Beach range in time from the present year to the age of Pericles; in place from California to Shangri-La, from Paris to the Middle West; in theme from current political issues to the timeless problems of Greek philosophy; in mood from tender love to trenchant satire. In these fifty-odd poems is a rich variety—Anthony Eden and Cordell Hull, the French capital in the summer preceding the first World War, the skylines of the American West, the skylines of Minneapolis, soldier and swan maiden, and the inner life of man wherever lived. Mr. Beach can tell home truths without bitterness, and handle nostalgic emotion without sentimentality.


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Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality
Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
John Boswell
University of Chicago Press, 2015
John Boswell’s National Book Award–winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church’s past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published thirty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell’s research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history.

Now in this thirty-fifth anniversary edition with a new foreword by leading queer and religious studies scholar Mark D. Jordan, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality is still fiercely relevant. This landmark book helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.

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Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality
Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
John Boswell
University of Chicago Press, 1981
"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."—Michel Foucault

John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, still fiercely relevant today, helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.

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The Collapse of Price's Raid
The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri
Mark A. Lause
University of Missouri Press, 2014
As the Civil War was drawing to a close, former Missouri governor Sterling Price led his army on one last desperate campaign to retake his home state for the Confederacy, part of a broader effort to tilt the upcoming 1864 Union elections against Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans. In The Collapse of Price’s Raid: The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri, Mark A. Lause examines the complex political and social context of what became known as “Price’s Raid,” the final significant Southern operation west of the Mississippi River.
The success of the Confederates would be measured by how long they could avoid returning south to spend a hungry winter among the picked-over fields of southwestern Arkansas and northeastern Texas. As Price moved from Pilot Knob to Boonville, the Raid brutalized and alienated the people it supposedly wished to liberate. With Union cavalry pushing out of Jefferson City, the Confederates took Boonville, Glasgow, and Sedalia in their stride, and fostered a wave of attacks across northern Missouri by guerrillas and organizations of new recruits. With the Missouri River to their north and the ravaged farmlands to their south, Price’s men continued west.
At Lexington, Confederates began encountering a second Federal army newly raised in Kansas under General Samuel R. Curtis. A running battle from the Little Blue through Independence to the Big Blue marked the first of three days of battle in the area of Kansas City, as the two Federal armies squeezed the Confederate forces between them. Despite a self-congratulatory victory, Union forces failed to capture the very vulnerable army of Price, which escaped down the Kansas line.
The follow-up to Price’s Lost Campaign: The 1864 Invasion of Missouri, Lause’s The Collapse of Price’s Raid is a must-have for any reader interested in the Civil War or in Missouri state history.

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A History of Chicago, Volume I
The Beginning of a City 1673-1848
Bessie Louise Pierce
University of Chicago Press, 1937
The first major history of Chicago ever written, A History of Chicago covers the city’s great history over two centuries, from 1673 to 1893.

Originally conceived as a centennial history of Chicago, the project became, under the guidance of renowned historian Bessie Louise Pierce, a definitive, three-volume set describing the city’s growth—from its humble frontier beginnings to the horrors of the Great Fire, the construction of some of the world’s first skyscrapers, and the opulence of the 1893 World’s Fair. Pierce and her assistants spent over forty years transforming historical records into an inspiring human story of growth and survival.

Rich with anecdotal evidence and interviews with the men and women who made Chicago great, all three volumes will now be available for the first time in years. A History of Chicago will be essential reading for anyone who wants to know this great city and its place in America.

“With this rescue of its history from the bright, impressionable newspapermen and from the subscription-volumes, Chicago builds another impressive memorial to its coming of age, the closing of its first ‘century of progress.’”—E. D. Branch, New York Times (1937)


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I Have Landed
The End of a Beginning in Natural History
Stephen Jay Gould
Harvard University Press, 2011
Gould’s final essay collection is based on his remarkable series for Natural History magazine—exactly 300 consecutive essays, with never a month missed, published from 1974 to 2001. Both an intellectually thrilling journey into the nature of scientific discovery and the most personal book he ever published.

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In the Beginning
First Novels in Mystery Series
Mary Jean Demarr
University of Wisconsin Press, 1995

This volume contains fourteen essays by authoritative academics studying the field of mystery and detective fiction. The essays all concentrate on the first novels in established series, analyzing ways in which the opening books of the series do or do not create patterns followed in succeeding novels.


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Jazz from the Beginning
Garvin Bushell
University of Michigan Press, 1990
Few musicians can boast careers as long and productive as that of jazz instrumentalist Garvin Bushell. In Jazz from the Beginning, Bushell vividly recounts his musical experiences and reflects on some of the major personalities who shaped the history of jazz. Bushell's memoir vibrates with the excitement of being a part of the evolution of jazz. He began his career as a teenager, playing clarinet in a circus band. In the 1920s, he played gigs in rowdy Harlem cabarets and was a member of the Sam Wooding ensemble, one of the first black musical groups to tour Europe, Russia, and South America. In the 1930s, he performed with the big bands of Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, and Chick Webb. In the 1950s and 1960s he participated in the Dixieland revival and in the modern experiments of Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane. Bushell also recalls with candor the scarring experiences of racial prejudice he encountered while touring America and Europe. Mark Tucker has carefully compiled Bushell's memoirs from a series of thirty-one taped interviews made in the summer of 1986. His text preserves Bushell’s warmth and personality and provides scholars and music lovers alike with a critical analysis of African-American music and an important record of seventy years of American musical history.

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Macbeth in Harlem
Black Theater in America from the Beginning to Raisin in the Sun
Clifford Mason
Rutgers University Press, 2020
2020 George Freedley Memorial Award Special Jury Prize from the Theatre Library Association​
2021 PROSE Awards Finalist, Music & the Performing Arts

In 1936 Orson Welles directed a celebrated all-black production of Macbeth that was hailed as a breakthrough for African Americans in the theater. For over a century, black performers had fought for the right to perform on the American stage, going all the way back to an 1820s Shakespearean troupe that performed Richard III, Othello, and Macbeth, without relying on white patronage.

"Macbeth" in Harlem tells the story of these actors and their fellow black theatrical artists, from the early nineteenth century to the dawn of the civil rights era. For the first time we see how African American performers fought to carve out a space for authentic black voices onstage, at a time when blockbuster plays like Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Octoroon trafficked in cheap stereotypes. Though the Harlem Renaissance brought an influx of talented black writers and directors to the forefront of the American stage, they still struggled to gain recognition from an indifferent critical press.

Above all, "Macbeth" in Harlem is a testament to black artistry thriving in the face of adversity. It chronicles how even as the endemic racism in American society and its theatrical establishment forced black performers to abase themselves for white audiences’ amusement, African Americans overcame those obstacles to enrich the nation’s theater in countless ways.

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The Mahabharata, Volume 1
Book 1: The Book of the Beginning
Edited by J. A. B. van Buitenen
University of Chicago Press, 1973
The Mahabharata, an ancient and vast Sanskrit poem, is a remarkable collection of epics, legends, romances, theology, and ethical and metaphysical doctrine. The core of this great work is the epic struggle between five heroic brothers, the Pandavas, and their one hundred contentious cousins for rule of the land. This is the first volume in what will ultimately become a multi volume edition encompassing all eighteen books.

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Modern Hebrew for Beginners
A Multimedia Program for Students at the Beginning and Intermediate Levels
By Esther Raizen
University of Texas Press, 2016

Modern Hebrew for Beginners—which is now revised and updated—and Modern Hebrew for Intermediate Students are the core of a multimedia program for the college-level Hebrew classroom developed at the University of Texas at Austin in the early 2000s. Within an intensive framework of instruction that assumes six weekly hours in the classroom, the program provides for two semesters of instruction, at the end of which most successful students will reach the intermediate-mid or intermediate-high levels of proficiency in speaking and reading, and some will reach advanced-low proficiency, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

In addition to a variety of written exercises, the workbook includes vocabulary lists, reading selections, discussions of cultural topics, illustrations of grammar points, notes on registers, suggestions for class and individual activities, and glossaries. The workbook is complemented by a website ( that provides short video segments originally scripted and filmed in Israel and the United States, vocabulary flashcards with sound, interactive exercises on topics included in the workbook, sound files parallel to the reading selections in the workbook, and additional materials that enhance the learning experience. The stability of the workbook, combined with the dynamic nature of the website and the internet searches the students are directed to conduct, allows language instructors to reshape the curriculum and adapt it to the needs of their students and the goals of their programs.


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Moving Lessons
Margaret H'Doubler and the Beginning of Dance in American Education
Janice Ross
University of Wisconsin Press, 2000
Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H'Doubler, who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance (at the University of Wisconsin). Dance educator and historian Janice Ross shows that H'Doubler (1889–1982) was both emblematic of her time and an innovator who made deep imprints in American culture. An authentic "New Woman," H'Doubler emerged from a sheltered female Victorian world to take action in the public sphere. She changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women.
    Ross brings together many discourses—from dance history, pedagogical theory, women's history, feminist theory, American history, and the history of the body—in intelligent, exciting, and illuminating ways and adds a new chapter to each of them. She shows how H'Doubler, like Isadora Duncan and other modern dancers, helped to raise dance in the eyes of the middle class from its despised status as lower-class entertainment and "dangerous" social interaction to a serious enterprise. Taking a nuanced critical approach to the history of women's bodies and their representations, Moving Lessons fills a very large gap in the history of dance education.

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The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment
J. B. Shank
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Nothing is considered more natural than the connection between Isaac Newton’s science and the modernity that came into being during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Terms like “Newtonianism” are routinely taken as synonyms for “Enlightenment” and “modern” thought, yet the particular conjunction of these terms has a history full of accidents and contingencies. Modern physics, for example, was not the determined result of the rational unfolding of Newton’s scientific work in the eighteenth century, nor was the Enlightenment the natural and inevitable consequence of Newton’s eighteenth-century reception. Each of these outcomes, in fact, was a contingent event produced by the particular historical developments of the early eighteenth century.

A comprehensive study of public culture, The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment digsbelow the surface of the commonplace narratives that link Newton with Enlightenment thought to examine the actual historical changes that brought them together in eighteenth-century time and space. Drawing on the full range of early modern scientific sources, from studied scientific treatises and academic papers to book reviews, commentaries, and private correspondence, J. B. Shank challenges the widely accepted claim that Isaac Newton’s solitary genius is the reason for his iconic status as the father of modern physics and the philosophemovement.

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The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy
Jacques Derrida
University of Chicago Press, 2003
Derrida's first book-length work, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, was originally written as a dissertation for his diplôme d'études supérieures in 1953 and 1954. Surveying Husserl's major works on phenomenology, Derrida reveals what he sees as an internal tension in Husserl's central notion of genesis, and gives us our first glimpse into the concerns and frustrations that would later lead Derrida to abandon phenomenology and develop his now famous method of deconstruction.

For Derrida, the problem of genesis in Husserl's philosophy is that both temporality and meaning must be generated by prior acts of the transcendental subject, but transcendental subjectivity must itself be constituted by an act of genesis. Hence, the notion of genesis in the phenomenological sense underlies both temporality and atemporality, history and philosophy, resulting in a tension that Derrida sees as ultimately unresolvable yet central to the practice of phenomenology.

Ten years later, Derrida moved away from phenomenology entirely, arguing in his introduction to Husserl's posthumously published Origin of Geometry and his own Speech and Phenomena that the phenomenological project has neither resolved this tension nor expressly worked with it. The Problem of Genesis complements these other works, showing the development of Derrida's approach to phenomenology as well as documenting the state of phenomenological thought in France during a particularly fertile period, when Levinas, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Ricoeur, and Tran-Duc-Thao, as well as Derrida, were all working through it. But the book is most important in allowing us to follow Derrida's own development as a philosopher by tracing the roots of his later work in deconstruction to these early critical reflections on Husserl's phenomenology.

"A dissertation is not merely a prerequisite for an academic job. It may set the stage for a scholar's life project. So, the doctoral dissertations of Max Weber and Jacques Derrida, never before available in English, may be of more than passing interest. In June, the University of Chicago Press will publish Mr. Derrida's dissertation, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, which the French philosopher wrote in 1953-54 as a doctoral student, and which did not appear in French until 1990. From the start, Mr Derrida displayed his inventive linguistic style and flouting of convention."—Danny Postel, Chronicle of Higher Education

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A Novel for the Beginning of the 1860s
Michael R. Katz
Northwestern University Press, 1994
Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-89) is most famous as the author of What is To Be Done? (1863), one of the most inspirational texts in the Russian revolutionary movement. But during his long and lonely Siberian exile Chernyshevsky wrote Prologue, an novel of extraordinary interest for anyone eager to understand the course of Russian history and the political debate over democratization taking place in Russia today.

Set in Petersburg in 1857, on the eve of the great reforms that would include the emancipation of the serfs, Prologue expresses the author's hostility toward Russian liberals, their halfhearted attempts to alleviate the sufferings of peasants, and their insufficient support of revolution, while also exploring the obstacles in the path of women's social and personal development in the Victorian era. Michael R. Katz's new translation makes this singular work available to the non-Russian reading public for the first time.

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A Reef in Time
The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End
J.E.N. Veron
Harvard University Press, 2008

Like many coral specialists fifteen years ago, J. E. N. Veron thought Australia's Great Barrier Reef was impervious to climate change. "Owned by a prosperous country and accorded the protection it deserves, it would surely not go the way of the Amazon rain forest or the parklands of Africa, but would endure forever. That is what I thought once, but I think it no longer." This book is Veron's Silent Spring for the world's coral reefs.

Veron presents the geological history of the reef, the biology of coral reef ecosystems, and a primer on what we know about climate change. He concludes that the Great Barrier Reef and, indeed, most coral reefs will be dead from mass bleaching and irreversible acidification within the coming century unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed. If we don't have the political will to confront the plight of the world's reefs, he argues, current processes already in motion will become unstoppable, bringing on a mass extinction the world has not seen for 65 million years.

Our species has cracked its own genetic code and sent representatives of its kind to the moon--we can certainly save the world's reefs if we want to. But to achieve this goal, we must devote scientific expertise and political muscle to the development of green technologies that will dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions and reverse acidification of the oceans.


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The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam
Religion, Political Order, and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to 1890
Said Amir Arjomand
University of Chicago Press, 1984
Dismissing oversimplified and politically charged views of the politics of Shi'ite Islam, Said Amir Arjomand offers a richly researched sociological and historical study of Shi'ism and the political order of premodern Iran that exposes the roots of what became Khomeini's theocracy.

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Special Care
Medical Decisions at the Beginning of Life
Fred M. Frohock
University of Chicago Press, 1986
Intensive care medicine today is as close to the miraculous as most of us are likely to see in our lifetime. Nowhere is this magic more effectively practiced than in neonatal nurseries. Infants who are born prematurely at twenty-four weeks gestation and who weigh less than a pound can now be treated successfully. No other type of medicine has a more dramatic payoff, for the infants who survive can look forward to seventy or more years of life.

But there is a dark underside to the exercise of these skills. A growing number of babies live only to be tethered to life-support systems, unconscious or suffering incessant pain for years and sometimes for the duration of their lives. The ethical issues raised by these children are among the most difficult in our society. Should life be maintained no matter what its quality? Or is there a point at which treatment should be stopped on humane grounds? Who is to make decisions on continuing or ending therapy for damaged children? Is the law a suitable instrument for regulating medical decisions in intensive care nurseries? Should the growing cost of intensive care influence therapy decisions?

Special Care explores the moral and legal issues in neonatal intensive care. Fred M. Frohock spent four months in a special care nursery, observing the daily actions of doctors and nurses and interviewing staff and parents of patients. This engaging, human drama is told through the author's own journal entries interspersed with generous excerpts from taped interviews that display the practical reasoning of staff and parents as they address the moral problems raised by intensive care medicine. Several case studies of infants highlight the often contradictory directions in which medical staffs are pulled and the painful decisions that doctors and parents together are often called upon to make. The result is a book that reconstructs the ordinary life of a neonatal nursery and presents the moral views of those who are most intimately involved in therapy decisions.

This book is an urgently needed entry in the current discussions of treatment for badly damaged babies. Frohock argues that our tradition of rights language, which rests on the premise that we know what a human being is, is inappropriate when dealing with the paradoxes of decision making in neonatal nurseries. Calling for a new moral vocabulary better adapted to the world of medicine, he introduces the notion of harm in place of rights, a concept drawn from medicine's Hippocratic oath that pledges to "do no harm," as a way to begin framing questions and making decisions. Special Care will interest anyone who wants to understand medical decisions at the margins of human life.

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Surveying in Early America
The Point of Beginning, An Illustrated History
Dan Patterson and Clinton Terry
University of Cincinnati Press, 2020
Living history is one of the most popular, and accessible ways for people of all ages to step back in time. From Colonial Williamsburg, to Mount Vernon, to signs along roadways identifying George Washington stopping points, living history continues to be an accessible way to learn about cultural, historical and political practice in early America.
In Surveying Early America: The Point of Beginning, An Illustrated History, award-winning photographer Dan Patterson and American historian Clinton Terry vividly and succinctly unpack the profession of surveying during the eighteenth century. Over 100 full color photographs exclusively shot for the book depict authentic and historically accurate reproductions of techniques and tools through the use of American reenactors from the Department of Geographer, which provide an interpretive look at surveying as a primary means to building the American nation.
Through the lens of Patterson’s camera and Terry’s narrative, readers see what Washington saw as he learned his trade, explored the vast American wilderness, and occasionally laid personal claim to great expanses of land. Readers are visually and intellectually immersed in the historically accurate details of the surveying practices of George Washington, Virginia’s first surveyor and his team.
Step-by-step, readers learn how early America, in particular the east to the Ohio River Valley was initially divided and documented. Terry characterizes both the profession and methods of land measurement and surveying in British colonial North America—techniques that did not substantially change until the invention of GPS technology 200 years later. Along the way Terry details the various tools of the trade early surveyors used.
Photographer Dan Patterson, working with the Department of the Geographer, restages Washington’s actual expeditions during his time with the Geographers to the Army, the technical staff department consisting of American and French soldiers, whose work in the field supported the Continental Army. Patterson brilliantly displays the processes and instruments Washington used 260 years ago.

Together Ohio based photographer and author team up to create a single story, expanding the understanding of primary source material for general readers and those with a passion for early American history.

front cover of Universe in Creation
Universe in Creation
A New Understanding of the Big Bang and the Emergence of Life
Roy R. Gould
Harvard University Press, 2018

We know the universe has a history, but does it also have a story of self-creation to tell? Yes, in Roy R. Gould’s account. He offers a compelling narrative of how the universe—with no instruction other than its own laws—evolved into billions of galaxies and gave rise to life, including humans who have been trying for millennia to comprehend it. Far from being a random accident, the universe is hard at work, extracting order from chaos.

Making use of the best current science, Gould turns what many assume to be true about the universe on its head. The cosmos expands inward, not outward. Gravity can drive things apart, not merely together. And the universe seems to defy entropy as it becomes more ordered, rather than the other way around. Strangest of all, the universe is exquisitely hospitable to life, despite its being constructed from undistinguished atoms and a few unexceptional rules of behavior. Universe in Creation explores whether the emergence of life, rather than being a mere cosmic afterthought, may be written into the most basic laws of nature.

Offering a fresh take on what brought the world—and us—into being, Gould helps us see the universe as the master of its own creation, not tethered to a singular event but burgeoning as new space and energy continuously stream into existence. It is a very old story, as yet unfinished, with plotlines that twist and churn through infinite space and time.


front cover of Utah at the Beginning of the New  Millennium
Utah at the Beginning of the New Millennium
A Demographic Perspective
Zick and Smith
University of Utah Press, 2006
To outsiders, the state of Utah often conjures many unsurprising stereotypes and images: Mormons, polygamy, large families, national parks, and skiing. Is there more to Utah and its residents than these generalizations? Few doubt that the religious institutions in Utah affect the state’s quality of life in many ways. But it is equally true that numerous features of the population are steadily and profoundly altering the very nature of Utah and its residents. This book describes the many fundamental demographic, social, and economic pressures that will likely alter the state’s path in the future.
Utah’s leading social scientists and population-related scholars draw on their specific areas of expertise and analyze Utah’s population using recent sources of data such as the 2000 U.S. Census. The chapters are organized into three broad topical sections: the foundations of Utah’s population (basic demographics), how the nature of the population affects our daily lives (quality of life issues), and the public policy challenges that will face Utah’s leaders (emerging issues).

front cover of The West in Early Cinema
The West in Early Cinema
After the Beginning
Nanna Verhoeff
Amsterdam University Press, 2006
The Western film is inextricably tied to American culture: untamed landscapes, fiercely independent characters, and an unwavering distinction between good and evil. Yet Westerns began in the early twentieth century as far more fluid works of comedy, adventure, and historical explorations of the frontier landscape. Nanna Verhoeff examines here the earliest films made in the Western genre and proposes the thought-provoking argument that these little-studied films demand new ways of considering Westerns and the history of cinema. 

Verhoeff analyzes the earliest American and European Westerns—made between 1894 and 1915—and finds them to be an international repository for anxieties about modernity and identity, not the instructional morality tales we assume them to be. She draws on an array of archival materials—photography, paintings, Wild West shows, popular ethnographic studies, and pulp literature—to locate these early Westerns more precisely in their original social and cultural contexts. These early films—which coincided with the “closing” of the West and rises in rates of immigration, railroad travel, and urbanization—drove the transformation of film, Verhoeff argues, from just another new technology into the dominant cultural vehicle for dealing with issues of national and personal nostalgia, as well as uncertainty in the face of modernity. From these fragmentary early films Verhoeff extracts a rich historical analysis that radically reorients our view of the first two decades of cinema history in America and provocatively connects the evolution of Westerns to our transition today into a new media culture. 

The West in Early Cinema challenges established history and criticism of the Western film and will be an invaluable resource for the film scholar and John Wayne fan alike.

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