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A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State
Letters Home
Robert Morton
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
Mitford (later to become the first Lord Redesdale) was an urbane aristocrat, had charm, looks and excellent manners. He was always in the right place at the right time, almost drowned, could have burned to death, was shot at, and was nearly cut down by samurai swords. But 'Bertie', as he was known, was never fazed by events. He stood face-to-face with the new, teenage Emperor when almost everybody else, including the Shogun, could only talk to him behind a screen. He became friendly with the last Shogun and witnessed a hara-kiri, his atmospheric account of which is now a classic. An accomplished linguist and writer, Mitford was the outstanding chronicler of the Meiji Restoration, complementing the writings of his contemporary Ernest Satow. This book will be of particular interest to students and readers of Japanese history, as well as readers of nineteenth-century biography in general. It will also have special appeal to those who are familiar with the Mitford family history.
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Birth
A Literary Companion
Kristin & Lynne Kovacic & Barrett
University of Iowa Press, 2002
 Parenthood is full of secrets. The pregnant body, labor, the mysteries of a new child, the transformation of relationships—men and women are themselves reborn as they become parents. Birth: A Literary Companion collects the work of fifty accomplished writers to guide new parents through this complex emotional terrain.
Arranged chronologically—from early pregnancy to late infancy— Birth can be read solidly or dipped into in the middle of the night. Here, a curious reader can find a frank, funny essay about breastfeeding, a vividly accurate story about labor, or a tender poem about the terror of holding a newborn child. Birth covers the huge emotional spectrum that new parents pass through—from fear and loathing to uncontainable joy. Embracing all kinds of parents—gay and straight, mothers and fathers, married and single, adoptive and biological—the book unlocks, through literature, the secrets of parenthood that science and society rarely reveal.
An enduring guide to the emotional and spiritual changes of parenthood, Birth will be an important addition to both parenting and literature bookshelves.
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Birth and Fortune
The Impact of Numbers on Personal Welfare
Richard A. Easterlin
University of Chicago Press, 1987
In this influential work, Richard A. Easterlin shows how the size of a generation—the number of persons born in a particular year—directly and indirectly affects the personal welfare of its members, the make-up and breakdown of the family, and the general well being of the economy.

"[Easterlin] has made clear, I think unambiguously, that the baby-boom generation is economically underprivileged merely because of its size. And in showing this, he demonstrates that population size can be as restrictive as a factor as sex, race, or class on equality of opportunity in the U.S."—Jeffrey Madrick, Business Week
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Birth of a Nation
D.W. Griffith, Director
Robert Lang
Rutgers University Press, 1993
The Birth of a Nation (1915) remains the most controversial American film ever made, and its director, D. W. Griffith, one of the most extraordinary figures in film history. It was the first true feature film and did more than any other to launch Hollywood both as an industry and as an idea. The film consolidated a trend in cinematic technique and an approach to dramatic narrative that define American cinema to this day. As a great but ideologically troubled film that offers us a reflection of ourselves as Americans, The Birth of a Nation continues to intrigue, challenge, infuriate, and awe.

Robert Lang's introduction to this volume explores in fascinating detail the warped view of history that this great film presents. Griffith, a Southerner, was intent on resurrecting, idealizing, and justifying the South. In The Birth of a Nation, it is racism that unites the white North and South; the protection or abolition of slavery is not the divisive issue. In a powerful synthesis of spectacle and narrative, Griffith seeks to give the Southern cause a sense of glamour and high purpose. Lang considers the film as a historical melodrama, and by examining Griffith's "historiography as ideological practice," he traces the way in which the bloody, traumatic reality of the Civil War and Reconstruction becomes melodramatic myth. This unparalleled guide to The Birth of a Nation offers a shot-by-shot continuity script; a biographical sketch of the director; a sampling of contemporary reviews; a series of essays by distinguished critics including James Chandler, Michael Rogin, Janet Staiger, and Mimi White; and a filmography and bibliography.
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Birth of a National Park
Great Smoky Mountains
Carlos C. Campbell
University of Tennessee Press, 1993
Annually millions of people admire the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's primeval beauty - towering peaks, sparkling cascades, virgin forests, and remarkable variety of wildflowers and shrubs. One of the nation's most popular national parks did not just "come to be" a logical and natural development on federally-owned land. Instead, it was the first national park to be acquired from private owners and given by the people to the federal government. Establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park climaxed an unprecedented crusade that is a story of almost fanatic dedication to a cause, as well as one of frustration, despair, political bias, and even physical violence.
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Birth of a Salesman
Walter A. Friedman
Harvard University Press, 2005

In this entertaining and informative book, Walter Friedman chronicles the remarkable metamorphosis of the American salesman from itinerant amateur to trained expert. From the mid-nineteenth century to the eve of World War II, the development of sales management transformed an economy populated by peddlers and canvassers to one driven by professional salesmen and executives.

From book agents flogging Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs to John H. Patterson's famous pyramid strategy at National Cash Register to the determined efforts by Ford and Chevrolet to craft surefire sales pitches for their dealers, selling evolved from an art to a science. "Salesmanship" as a term and a concept arose around the turn of the century, paralleling the new science of mass production. Managers assembled professional forces of neat responsible salesmen who were presented as hardworking pillars of society, no longer the butt of endless "traveling salesmen" jokes. People became prospects; their homes became territories. As an NCR representative said, the modern salesman "let the light of reason into dark places." The study of selling itself became an industry, producing academic disciplines devoted to marketing, consumer behavior, and industrial psychology. At Carnegie Mellon's Bureau of Salesmanship Research, Walter Dill Scott studied the characteristics of successful salesmen and ways to motivate consumers to buy.

Full of engaging portraits and illuminating insights, Birth of a Salesman is a singular contribution that offers a clear understanding of the transformation of salesmanship in modern America.

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The Birth of American Tourism
New York, the Hudson Valley, and American Culture, 1790-1835
Richard H. Gassan
University of Massachusetts Press, 2008
Today the idea of traveling within the United States for leisure purposes is so commonplace it is hard to imagine a time when tourism was not a staple of our cultural life. Yet as Richard H. Gassan persuasively demonstrates, at the beginning of the nineteenth century travel for leisure was strictly an aristocratic luxury beyond the means of ordinary Americans. It wasn't until the second decade of the century that the first middle-class tourists began to follow the lead of the well-to-do, making trips up the Hudson River valley north of New York City, and in a few cases beyond. At first just a trickle, by 1830 the tide of tourism had become a flood, a cultural change that signaled a profound societal shift as the United States stepped onto the road that would eventually lead to a modern consumer society.

According to Gassan, the origins of American tourism in the Hudson Valley can be traced to a confluence of historical accidents, including the proximity of the region to the most rapidly growing financial and population center in the country, with its expanding middle class, and the remarkable beauty of the valley itself. But other developments also played a role, from the proliferation of hotels to accommodate tourists, to the construction of an efficient transportation network to get them to their destinations, to the creation of a set of cultural attractions that invested their experience with meaning. In the works of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper and the paintings of Thomas Cole and others of the Hudson River School, travelers in the region encountered the nation's first literary and artistic movements. Tourism thus did more than provide an escape from the routines of everyday urban life; it also helped Americans of the early republic shape a sense of national identity.
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Birth of an Industry
Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation
Nicholas Sammond
Duke University Press, 2015
In Birth of an Industry, Nicholas Sammond describes how popular early American cartoon characters were derived from blackface minstrelsy. He charts the industrialization of animation in the early twentieth century, its representation in the cartoons themselves, and how important blackface minstrels were to that performance, standing in for the frustrations of animation workers. Cherished cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat, were conceived and developed using blackface minstrelsy's visual and performative conventions: these characters are not like minstrels; they are minstrels. They play out the social, cultural, political, and racial anxieties and desires that link race to the laboring body, just as live minstrel show performers did. Carefully examining how early animation helped to naturalize virulent racial formations, Sammond explores how cartoons used laughter and sentimentality to make those stereotypes seem not only less cruel, but actually pleasurable. Although the visible links between cartoon characters and the minstrel stage faded long ago, Sammond shows how important those links are to thinking about animation then and now, and about how cartoons continue to help to illuminate the central place of race in American cultural and social life.
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The Birth of Capitalism
A 21st Century Perspective
Henry Heller
Pluto Press, 2011

In the light of the deepening crisis of capitalism and continued non-Western capitalist accumulation, Henry Heller re-examines the debates surrounding the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe and elsewhere.

Focusing on arguments about the origin, nature and sustainability of capitalism, Heller offers a new reading of the historical evidence and a critical interrogation of the transition debate. He advances the idea that capitalism must be understood as a political as well as an economic entity. This book breathes new life into the scholarship, taking issue with the excessively economistic approach of Robert Brenner, which has gained increasing support over the last ten years. It concludes that the future of capitalism is more threatened than ever before.

The new insights in this book make it essential reading for engaged students and scholars of political economy and history.

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The Birth of Computer Vision
James E. Dobson
University of Minnesota Press, 2023

A revealing genealogy of image-recognition techniques and technologies
 

Today’s most advanced neural networks and sophisticated image-analysis methods come from 1950s and ’60s Cold War culture—and many biases and ways of understanding the world from that era persist along with them. Aerial surveillance and reconnaissance shaped all of the technologies that we now refer to as computer vision, including facial recognition. The Birth of Computer Vision uncovers these histories and finds connections between the algorithms, people, and politics at the core of automating perception today.

James E. Dobson reveals how new forms of computerized surveillance systems, high-tech policing, and automated decision-making systems have become entangled, functioning together as a new technological apparatus of social control. Tracing the development of a series of important computer-vision algorithms, he uncovers the ideas, worrisome military origins, and lingering goals reproduced within the code and the products based on it, examining how they became linked to one another and repurposed for domestic and commercial uses. Dobson includes analysis of the Shakey Project, which produced the first semi-autonomous robot, and the impact of student protest in the early 1970s at Stanford University, as well as recovering the computer vision–related aspects of Frank Rosenblatt’s Perceptron as the crucial link between machine learning and computer vision.

Motivated by the ongoing use of these major algorithms and methods, The Birth of Computer Vision chronicles the foundations of computer vision and artificial intelligence, its major transformations, and the questionable legacy of its origins.


Cover alt text: Two overlapping circles in cream and violet, with black background. Top is a printed circuit with camera eye; below a person at a 1977 computer.

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The Birth of Doubt
Confronting Uncertainty in Early Rabbinic Literature
Moshe Halbertal
SBL Press, 2020

A systematic attempt to understand the rabbinic world through its approach to confronting uncertainty

In the history of halakhah, the treatment of uncertainty became one of the most complex fields of intense study. In his latest book, Moshe Halbertal focuses on examining the point of origin of the study of uncertainty in early rabbinic literature, including the Mishnah, Tosefta, and halakhic midrashim. Halbertal explores instructions concerning how to behave in situations of uncertainty ranging from matters of ritual purity, to lineage and marriage, to monetary law, and to the laws of forbidden foods. This examination of the rules of uncertainty introduced in early rabbinic literature reveals that these rules were not aimed at avoiding but rather at dwelling in the midst of uncertainty, thus rejecting the sectarian isolationism that sought to minimize a community’s experience of and friction with uncertainty.

Features:

  • A thorough investigation of the principles concerning how to behave in cases of uncertainty
  • An examination of two distinct modes for coping with uncertainty
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The Birth of Emma K.
Zsolt Láng
Seagull Books, 2022
An inventive collection of stories by one of the most prominent and acclaimed writers in Hungary today.
 
The Birth of Emma K., a collection of twelve short stories rich with magic, introduces English-language readers to one of the most vibrant and original voices in contemporary Hungarian literature. Zsolt Láng’s new collection opens with God sitting on a bench looking over Budapest; later, a Hungarian man who has stumbled into a Romanian music theory class suddenly finds he is able to speak expertly about Hungarian composer Béla Bartok—and in perfect Romanian; and even later, against all odds, the embryo of Emma fights for her future life from within the womb. Drifting between melancholic and witty, in sentences that are winding, subtle, and colloquial, Láng’s stories are deeply rooted in Transylvanian culture and history. Reminiscent of the best writings of Irish modernist masters such as Samuel Beckett and Flann O’Brien, The Birth of Emma K. presents an unforgettable collage of human nature.
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The Birth of Energy
Fossil Fuels, Thermodynamics, and the Politics of Work
Cara New Daggett
Duke University Press, 2019
In The Birth of Energy Cara New Daggett traces the genealogy of contemporary notions of energy back to the nineteenth-century science of thermodynamics to challenge the underlying logic that informs today's uses of energy. These early resource-based concepts of power first emerged during the Industrial Revolution and were tightly bound to Western capitalist domination and the politics of industrialized work. As Daggett shows, thermodynamics was deployed as an imperial science to govern fossil fuel use, labor, and colonial expansion, in part through a hierarchical ordering of humans and nonhumans. By systematically excavating the historical connection between energy and work, Daggett argues that only by transforming the politics of work—most notably, the veneration of waged work—will we be able to confront the Anthropocene's energy problem. Substituting one source of energy for another will not ensure a habitable planet; rather, the concepts of energy and work themselves must be decoupled.
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The Birth of Feminism
Woman as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England
Sarah Gwyneth Ross
Harvard University Press, 2009

In this illuminating work, surveying 300 years and two nations, Sarah Gwyneth Ross demonstrates how the expanding ranks of learned women in the Renaissance era presented the first significant challenge to the traditional definition of “woman” in the West.

An experiment in collective biography and intellectual history, The Birth of Feminism focuses on nineteen learned women from the middle ranks of society who rose to prominence in the world of Italian and English letters between 1400 and 1680. Drawing both on archival material—wills, letters, and manuscript compositions, some presented here for the first time—and on printed writings, Ross gives us an unprecedented sense of educated early modern women’s lives.

Sponsored and often educated by their learned fathers and other male relatives within a model that Ross terms “the intellectual family,” female authors publicized their works within the safety of family networks. These women, including Christine de Pizan, Laura Cereta, Margaret More Roper, Lucrezia Marinella, and Bathsua Makin, did not argue for women’s political equality, but they represented and often advocated women’s intellectual equality. Ross demonstrates that because of their education, these women had a renaissance during the Renaissance, and that in so doing they laid the foundation for the emancipation of womankind.

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The Birth of Head Start
Preschool Education Policies in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations
Maris A. Vinovskis
University of Chicago Press, 2005
One of the most popular and enduring legacies of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs, Project Head Start continues to support young children of low-income families-close to one million annually-by providing a range of developmental and educational services. Yet as Head Start reaches its fortieth anniversary, debates over the function and scope of this federal program persist. Although the program's importance is unquestioned across party lines, the direction of its future—whether toward a greater focus on school readiness and literacy or the continuation of a holistic approach-remains a point of contention.

Policymakers proposing to reform Head Start often invoke its origins to justify their position, but until now no comprehensive political history of the program has existed. Maris A. Vinovskis here provides an in-depth look at the nation's largest and best known—yet politically challenged—early education program. The Birth of Head Start sets the record straight on the program's intended aims, documenting key decisions made during its formative years. While previous accounts of Head Start have neglected the contributions of important participants such as federal education officials and members of Congress, Vinovskis's history is the first to consider the relationship between politics and policymaking and how this interaction has shaped the program. This thorough and incisive book will be essential for policymakers and legislators interested in prekindergarten education and will inform future discussions on early intervention services for disadvantaged children.
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Birth of Hegemony
Crisis, Financial Revolution, and Emerging Global Networks
Andrew C. Sobel
University of Chicago Press, 2012
With American leadership facing increased competition from China and India, the question of how hegemons emerge—and are able to create conditions for lasting stability—is of utmost importance in international relations. The generally accepted wisdom is that liberal superpowers, with economies based on capitalist principles, are best able to develop systems conducive to the health of the global economy.
 
In Birth of Hegemony, Andrew C. Sobel draws attention to the critical role played by finance in the emergence of these liberal hegemons. He argues that a hegemon must have both the capacity and the willingness to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of providing key collective goods that are the basis of international cooperation and exchange. Through this, the hegemon helps maintain stability and limits the risk to productive international interactions. However, prudent planning can account for only part of a hegemon’s ability to provide public goods, while some of the necessary conditions must be developed simply through the processes of economic growth and political development. Sobel supports these claims by examining the economic trajectories that led to the successive leadership of the Netherlands, Britain, and the United States.
 
Stability in international affairs has long been a topic of great interest to our understanding of global politics, and Sobel’s nuanced and theoretically sophisticated account sets the stage for a consideration of recent developments affecting the United States.
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The Birth of Insight
Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw
Erik Braun
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Insight meditation, which claims to offer practitioners a chance to escape all suffering by perceiving the true nature of reality, is one of the most popular forms of meditation today. The Theravada Buddhist cultures of South and Southeast Asia often see it as the Buddha’s most important gift to humanity. In the first book to examine how this practice came to play such a dominant—and relatively recent—role in Buddhism, Erik Braun takes readers to Burma, revealing that Burmese Buddhists in the colonial period were pioneers in making insight meditation indispensable to modern Buddhism.

Braun focuses on the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw, a pivotal architect of modern insight meditation, and explores Ledi’s popularization of the study of crucial Buddhist philosophical texts in the early twentieth century. By promoting the study of such abstruse texts, Braun shows, Ledi was able to standardize and simplify meditation methods and make them widely accessible—in part to protect Buddhism in Burma after the British takeover in 1885. Braun also addresses the question of what really constitutes the “modern” in colonial and postcolonial forms of Buddhism, arguing that the emergence of this type of meditation was caused by precolonial factors in Burmese culture as well as the disruptive forces of the colonial era. Offering a readable narrative of the life and legacy of one of modern Buddhism’s most important figures, The Birth of Insight provides an original account of the development of mass meditation.
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The Birth of Purgatory
Jacques Le Goff
University of Chicago Press, 1984
In The Birth of Purgatory, Jacques Le Goff, the brilliant medievalist and renowned Annales historian, is concerned not with theological discussion but with the growth of an idea, with the relation between belief and society, with mental structures, and with the historical role of the imagination. Le Goff argues that the doctrine of Purgatory did not appear in the Latin theology of the West before the late twelfth century, that the word purgatorium did not exist until then. He shows that the growth of a belief in an intermediate place between Heaven and Hell was closely bound up with profound changes in the social and intellectual reality of the Middle Ages. Throughout, Le Goff makes use of a wealth of archival material, much of which he has translated for the first time, inviting readers to examine evidence from the writings of great, obscure, or anonymous theologians.
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The Birth of Sense
Generative Passivity in Merleau-Ponty’s Philosophy
Don Beith
Ohio University Press, 2018

In The Birth of Sense, Don Beith proposes a new concept of generative passivity, the idea that our organic, psychological, and social activities take time to develop into sense. More than being a limit, passivity marks out the way in which organisms, persons, and interbodily systems take time in order to manifest a coherent sense. Beith situates his argument within contemporary debates about evolution, developmental biology, scientific causal explanations, psychology, postmodernism, social constructivism, and critical race theory. Drawing on empirical studies and phenomenological reflections, Beith argues that in nature, novel meaning emerges prior to any type of constituting activity or deterministic plan.

The Birth of Sense is an original phenomenological investigation in the style of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and it demonstrates that the French philosopher’s works cohere around the notion that life is radically expressive. While Merleau-Ponty’s early works are widely interpreted as arguing for the primacy of human consciousness, Beith argues that a pivotal redefinition of passivity is already under way here, and extends throughout Merleau-Ponty’s corpus. This work introduces new concepts in contemporary philosophy to interrogate how organic development involves spontaneous expression, how personhood emerges from this bodily growth, and how our interpersonal human life remains rooted in, and often thwarted by, domains of bodily expressivity.

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The Birth of Solidarity
The History of the French Welfare State
François Ewald
Duke University Press, 2020
François Ewald's landmark The Birth of Solidarity—first published in French in 1986, revised in 1996, with the revised edition appearing here in English for the first time—is one of the most important historical and philosophical studies of the rise of the welfare state. Theorizing the origins of social insurance, Ewald shows how the growing problem of industrial accidents in France throughout the nineteenth century tested the limits of classical liberalism and its notions of individual responsibility. As workers and capitalists confronted each other over the problem of workplace accidents, they transformed the older practice of commercial insurance into an instrument of state intervention, thereby creating an entirely new conception of law, the state, and social solidarity. What emerged was a new system of social insurance guaranteed by the state. The Birth of Solidarity is a classic work of social and political theory that will appeal to all those interested in labor power, the making and dismantling of the welfare state, and Foucauldian notions of governmentality, security, risk, and the limits of liberalism.
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The Birth of Territory
Stuart Elden
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Territory is one of the central political concepts of the modern world and, indeed, functions as the primary way the world is divided and controlled politically. Yet territory has not received the critical attention afforded to other crucial concepts such as sovereignty, rights, and justice. While territory continues to matter politically, and territorial disputes and arrangements are studied in detail, the concept of territory itself is often neglected today. Where did the idea of exclusive ownership of a portion of the earth’s surface come from, and what kinds of complexities are hidden behind that seemingly straightforward definition?
           
The Birth of Territory provides a detailed account of the emergence of territory within Western political thought. Looking at ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern thought, Stuart Elden examines the evolution of the concept of territory from ancient Greece to the seventeenth century to determine how we arrived at our contemporary understanding. Elden addresses a range of historical, political, and literary texts and practices, as well as a number of key players—historians, poets, philosophers, theologians, and secular political theorists—and in doing so sheds new light on the way the world came to be ordered and how the earth’s surface is divided, controlled, and administered.

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The Birth of the Archive
A History of Knowledge
Markus Friedrich, translated by John Noël Dillon
University of Michigan Press, 2018
The Birth of the Archive traces the history of archives from their emergence in the Late Middle Ages through the Early Modern Period, and vividly shows how archives permeated and fundamentally changed European culture. Archives were compiled and maintained by peasants and kings, merchants and churchmen, and conceptions of archives were as diverse as those who used them. The complex, demanding job of the archivist was just as variable: archivists might serve as custodians, record-keepers, librarians, legal experts, historians, scholars, researchers, public officials, or some combination thereof; navigating archives was often far from straightforward. The shift of archival storage from haphazard collections of papers to the methodically organized institutionalized holdings of the nineteenth century was a gradual, nonlinear process.

Friedrich provides an essential background to the history of archives over the centuries and enriches the story of their evolution with chapters on key sociocultural aspects of European archival culture. He discusses their meaning and symbolism in European thought, early modern conceptions of the archive’s function, and questions of access and usability. Exploring the close, often vexed relationship between archives and political power, Friedrich illustrates the vulnerability of archives to political upheaval and war. He concludes with an introspective look at how historians used their knowledge of and work with archives to create distinct representations of themselves and their craft.

The Birth of the Archive engages with scholarship in political history, the history of mentalities, conceptions of space, historiography, and the history of everyday life in early modern Europe. It has much to offer for specialists and scholars, while the jargon-free prose of this translation is also accessible to the general reader.
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Birth of the Living God
A Psychoanalytic Study
Ana-Marie Rizzuto
University of Chicago Press, 1981
Utilizing both clinical material based on the life histories of twenty patients and theoretical insights from the works of Freud, Erikson, Fairbairn, and Winnicott, Ana-Maria Rizzuto examines the origin, development, and use of our God images. Whereas Freud postulated that belief in God is based on a child's idea of his father, Rizzuto argues that the God representation draws from a variety of sources and is a major element in the fabric of one's view of self, others, and the world.
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Birth of the Other
Rosine Lefort, in collaberation with Robert Lefort
University of Illinois Press, 1994
   Originally published as Naissance de l' Autre (1980), Birth
        of the Other offers a rare look at language acquisition from a Lacanian
        perspective. In 1951-52 Rosine Lefort conducted the treatment of two largely
        preverbal children, guiding them through psychoanalysis and meticulously
        documenting their activities. Lefort has applied her subsequent training
        in Lacanian theory to these early case notes, which provide remarkably
        lucid examples of exceedingly difficult concepts.
      This exceptional work thus clarifies many misconceptions about psychoanalytic
        theory, furnishes unique insight into what Lacan calls the "time
        of analysis," and grants a clearer understanding of the relationship
        between language and the unconscious.
      "Anyone interested in
        Lacan's psychoanalytical theories should not fail to read these revealing
        clinical studies by one of Lacan's most authoritative and lucid interpreters."
        -- Herman Rapaport, author of Between the Sign and the Gaze
 
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The Birth of the Penitentiary in Latin America
Essays on Criminology, Prison Reform, and Social Control, 1830-1940
Edited by Ricardo D. Salvatore and Carlos Aguirre
University of Texas Press, 1996

Opening a new area in Latin American studies, The Birth of the Penitentiary in Latin America showcases the most recent historical outlooks on prison reform and criminology in the Latin American context. The essays in this collection shed new light on the discourse and practice of prison reform, the interpretive shifts induced by the spread of criminological science, and the links between them and competing discourses about class, race, nation, and gender. The book shows how the seemingly clear redemptive purpose of the penitentiary project was eventually contradicted by conflicting views about imprisonment, the pervasiveness of traditional forms of repression and control, and resistance from the lower classes.

The essays are unified by their attempt to view the penitentiary (as well as the variety of representations conveyed by the different reform movements favoring its adoption) as an interpretive moment, revealing of the ideology, class fractures, and contradictory nature of modernity in Latin America. As such, the book should be of interest not only to scholars concerned with criminal justice history, but also to a wide range of readers interested in modernization, social identities, and the discursive articulation of social conflict. The collection also offers an up-to-date sampling of new historical approaches to the study of criminal justice history, illuminates crucial aspects of the Latin American modernization process, and contrasts the Latin American cases with the better known European and North American experiences with prison reform.

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The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89
Edmund S. Morgan
University of Chicago Press, 1992

In one remarkable quarter-century, thirteen quarrelsome colonies were transformed into a nation. Edmund S. Morgan's classic account of the Revolutionary period shows how the challenge of British taxation started the Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom and eventually led to the Revolution.

Morgan demonstrates that these principles were not abstract doctrines of political theory but grew instead out of the immediate needs and experiences of the colonists. They were held with passionate conviction, and incorporated, finally, into the constitutions of the new American states and of the United States.

Though the basic theme of the book and his assessment of what the Revolution achieved remain the same, Morgan has updated the revised edition of The Birth of the Republic (1977) to include some textual and stylistic changes as well as a substantial revision of the Bibliographic Note.

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The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89, Fourth Edition
Edmund S. Morgan
University of Chicago Press, 2012

In The Birth of the Republic, 1763–89, Edmund S. Morgan shows how the challenge of British taxation started Americans on a search for constitutional principles to protect their freedom, and eventually led to the Revolution. By demonstrating that the founding fathers’ political philosophy was not grounded in theory, but rather grew out of their own immediate needs, Morgan paints a vivid portrait of how the founders’ own experiences shaped their passionate convictions, and these in turn were incorporated into the Constitution and other governmental documents. The Birth of the Republic is the classic account of the beginnings of the American government, and in this fourth edition the original text is supplemented with a new foreword by Joseph J. Ellis and a historiographic essay by Rosemarie Zagarri.

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The Birth of the State
Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China
Petr Charvát
Karolinum Press, 2013
The Birth of the State provides an overview of four of the most significant cultural centers in the ancient world, now in Egypt, the Persian Gulf region, India, and China. Petr Charvát approaches his subjects from a variety of perspectives and offers information on the economy, society, political climate, and religion within each of the empires. Using the most up-to-date research and theories available, Charvát not only delves into each of these nation states individually, but also synthesizes the material to reveal overarching themes in the birth and decline of civilizations.  
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The Birth of the World as We Know It
Or Teiresias
Meredith Steinbach
Northwestern University Press, 1996
In her fourth book of fiction, award-winning American novelist Meredith Steinbach reimagines the life of the Greek seer Teiresias. Having outlived everyone he ever knew, the seer looks back at the most significant episodes in his life—a visit to the Delphic oracle, mediating arguments between Hera and Zeus, his experiences as both man and woman—as he confronts the traveler Odysseus in the Underworld. Narrated from shifting points of view with tremendous psychological acuity, Steinbach's novel intertwines time, event, and narrative.
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The Birth of Theater from the Spirit of Philosophy
Nietzsche and the Modern Drama
David Kornhaber
Northwestern University Press, 2016
Nietzsche's love affair with the theater was among the most profound and prolonged intellectual engagements of his life, but his transformational role in the history of the modern stage has yet to be explored. In this pathbreaking account, David Kornhaber vividly shows how Nietzsche reimagined the theatrical event as a site of philosophical invention that is at once ancestor, antagonist, and handmaiden to the discipline of philosophy itself. August Strindberg, George Bernard Shaw, and Eugene O'Neill— seminal figures in the modern drama's evolution and avowed Nietzscheans all—came away from their encounters with Nietzsche's writings with an impassioned belief in the philosophical potential of the live theatrical event, coupled with a reestimation of the dramatist's power to shape that event in collaboration with the actor. In these playwrights' reactions to and adaptations of Nietzsche's radical rethinking of the stage lay the beginnings of a new direction in modern theater and dramatic literature.
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The Birth of Theory
Andrew Cole
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Modern theory needs a history lesson. Neither Marx nor Nietzsche first gave us theory—Hegel did. To support this contention, Andrew Cole’s The Birth of Theory presents a refreshingly clear and lively account of the origins and legacy of Hegel’s dialectic as theory. Cole explains how Hegel boldly broke from modern philosophy when he adopted medieval dialectical habits of thought to fashion his own dialectic. While his contemporaries rejected premodern dialectic as outdated dogma, Hegel embraced both its emphasis on language as thought and its fascination with the categories of identity and difference, creating what we now recognize as theory, distinct from systematic philosophy. Not content merely to change philosophy, Hegel also used this dialectic to expose the persistent archaism of modern life itself, Cole shows, establishing a method of social analysis that has influenced everyone from Marx and the nineteenth-century Hegelians, to Nietzsche and Bakhtin, all the way to Deleuze and Jameson.
           
By uncovering these theoretical filiations across time, The Birth of Theory will not only change the way we read Hegel, but also the way we think about the histories of theory. With chapters that powerfully reanimate the overly familiar topics of ideology, commodity fetishism, and political economy, along with a groundbreaking reinterpretation of Hegel’s famous master/slave dialectic, The Birth of Theory places the disciplines of philosophy, literature, and history in conversation with one another in an unprecedented way. Daring to reconcile the sworn enemies of Hegelianism and Deleuzianism, this timely book will revitalize dialectics for the twenty-first century.
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The Birth of Whiteness
Race and the Emergence of United States Cinema
Edited by Daniel Leonard Bernardi
Rutgers University Press, 1996

As indelible components of the history of the United States, race and racism have permeated nearly all aspects of life: cultural, economic, political, and social.  In this first anthology on race in early cinema, fourteen scholars examine the origins,  dynamics, and ramifications of racism and Eurocentrism and the resistance to both during the early years of American motion pictures. Any discussion of racial themes and practices in any arena inevitably begins with the definition of race. Is race an innate and biologically determined "essence" or is it a culturally constructed category? Is the question irrelevant?  Perhaps race exists as an ever-changing historical and social formation that, regardless of any standard definition, involves exploitation, degradation, and struggle. In his introduction, Daniel Bernardi writes that "early cinema has been a clear partner in the hegemonic struggle over the meaning of race" and that it was steadfastly aligned with a Eurocentric world view at the expense of those who didn't count as white.

The contributors to this work tackle these problems and address such subjects as biological determinism, miscegenation, Manifest Destiny, assimilation, and nativism and their impact on early cinema. Analyses of The Birth of a Nation, Romona, Nanook of the North and Madame Butterfly and the directorial styles of D. W. Griffith, Oscar Micheaux, and Edwin Porter are included in the volume.

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Born in the U.S.A.
Birth, Commemoration, and American Public Memory
Seth C. Bruggeman
University of Massachusetts Press, 2012
Scores of birthplace monuments and historic childhood homes dot the American landscape. These special places, many dating to the early years of the last century, have enshrined nativity alongside patriotism and valor among the key pillars of the nation's popular historical imagination. The essays in this volume suggest that the way Americans have celebrated famous births reflects evolving expectations of citizenship as well as a willingness to edit the past when those hopes go unfulfilled. The contributors also demonstrate that the reinvention of origin myths at birthplace monuments still factors in American political culture and the search for meaning in an ever-shifting global order.

Beyond asking why it is that Americans care about birthplaces and how they choose which ones to commemorate, Born in the U.S.A. offers insights from historians, curators, interpretive specialists, and others whose experience speaks directly to the challenges of managing historical sites. Each essay points to new ways of telling old stories at these mainstays of American memory. The case of the modern house museum receives special attention in a provocative concluding essay by Patricia West.

In addition to West and the editor, contributors include Christine Arato, Dan Currie, Keith A. Erekson, David Glassberg, Anna Thompson Hajdik, Zachary J. Lechner, Paul Lewis, Hilary Iris Lowe, Cynthia Miller, Laura Lawfer Orr, Robert Paynter, Angela Phelps, and Paul Reber.
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The Boy Governor
Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics
Don Faber
University of Michigan Press, 2012

In 1831, Stevens T. Mason was named Secretary of the Michigan Territory at the tender age of 19, two years before he could even vote. The youngest presidential appointee in American history, Mason quickly stamped his persona on Michigan life in large letters. After championing the territory's successful push for statehood without congressional authorization, he would defend his new state's border in open defiance of the country's political elite and then orchestrate its expansion through the annexation of the Upper Peninsula---all before his official election as Michigan's first governor at age 24, the youngest chief executive in any state's history.

The Boy Governor tells the complete story of this dominant political figure in Michigan's early development. Capturing Mason's youthful idealism and visionary accomplishments, including his advocacy for a strong state university and legislating for the creation of the Soo Locks, this biography renders a vivid portrait of Michigan's first governor---his conflicts, his desires, and his sense of patriotism. This book will appeal to anyone with a love of American history and interest in the many, larger-than-life personalities that battled on the political stage during the Jacksonian era.

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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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Chicago's Greatest Year, 1893
The White City and the Birth of a Modern Metropolis
Joseph Gustaitis
Southern Illinois University Press, 2013

In 1893, the 27.5 million visitors to the Chicago World’s Fair feasted their eyes on the impressive architecture of the White City, lit at night by thousands of electric lights. In addition to marveling at the revolutionary exhibits, most visitors discovered something else: beyond the fair’s 633 acres lay a modern metropolis that rivaled the world’s greatest cities. The Columbian Exposition marked Chicago’s arrival on the world stage, but even without the splendor of the fair, 1893 would still have been Chicago’s greatest year.

An almost endless list of achievements took place in Chicago in 1893. Chicago’s most important skyscraper was completed in 1893, and Frank Lloyd Wright opened his office in the same year. African American physician and Chicagoan Daniel Hale Williams performed one of the first known open-heart surgeries in 1893. Sears and Roebuck was incorporated, and William Wrigley invented Juicy Fruit gum that year. The Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry all started in 1893. The Cubs’ new ballpark opened in this year, and an Austro-Hungarian immigrant began  selling hot dogs outside the World’s Fair grounds. His wares became the famous “Chicago hot dog.”

“Cities are not buildings; cities are people,” writes author Joseph Gustaitis. Throughout the book, he brings forgotten pioneers back to the forefront of Chicago’s history, connecting these important people of 1893 with their effects on the city and its institutions today. The facts in this history of a year range from funny to astounding, showcasing innovators, civic leaders, VIPs, and power brokers who made 1893 Chicago about so much more than the fair. 

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A City Called Heaven
Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music
Robert Marovich
University of Illinois Press, 2015
In A City Called Heaven, Robert M. Marovich follows gospel music from early hymns and camp meetings through its growth into the sanctified soundtrack of the city's mainline black Protestant churches. Marovich mines print media, ephemera, and hours of interviews with artists, ministers, and historians--as well as relatives and friends of gospel pioneers--to recover forgotten singers, musicians, songwriters, and industry leaders. He also examines the entrepreneurial spirit that fueled gospel music's rise to popularity and granted social mobility to a number of its practitioners. As Marovich shows, the music expressed a yearning for freedom from earthly pains, racial prejudice, and life's hardships. Yet it also helped give voice to a people--and lift a nation.

A City Called Heaven celebrates a sound too mighty and too joyous for even church walls to hold.

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Cracking the Einstein Code
Relativity and the Birth of Black Hole Physics
Fulvio Melia
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity describes the effect of gravitation on the shape of space and the flow of time. But for more than four decades after its publication, the theory remained largely a curiosity for scientists; however accurate it seemed, Einstein’s mathematical code—represented by six interlocking equations—was one of the most difficult to crack in all of science. That is, until a twenty-nine-year-old Cambridge graduate solved the great riddle in 1963. Roy Kerr’s solution emerged coincidentally with the discovery of black holes that same year and provided fertile testing ground—at long last—for general relativity. Today, scientists routinely cite the Kerr solution, but even among specialists, few know the story of how Kerr cracked Einstein’s code.

Fulvio Melia here offers an eyewitness account of the events leading up to Kerr’s great discovery. Cracking the Einstein Code vividly describes how luminaries such as Karl Schwarzschild, David Hilbert, and Emmy Noether set the stage for the Kerr solution; how Kerr came to make his breakthrough; and how scientists such as Roger Penrose, Kip Thorne, and Stephen Hawking used the accomplishment to refine and expand modern astronomy and physics. Today more than 300 million supermassive black holes are suspected of anchoring their host galaxies across the cosmos, and the Kerr solution is what astronomers and astrophysicists use to describe much of their behavior.

By unmasking the history behind the search for a real world solution to Einstein’s field equations, Melia offers a first-hand account of an important but untold story. Sometimes dramatic, often exhilarating, but always attuned to the human element, Cracking the Einstein Code is ultimately a showcase of how important science gets done.

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Creating an Orange Utopia
Eliza Lovell Tibbetts and the Birth of California's Citrus Industry
Patricia Ortlieb
Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2011

California’s citrus industry owes a huge debt to the introduction of the navel orange tree—in fact, to two trees in particular, the parent trees of the vast groves of navel oranges that exist in California today. Those trees were planted by a woman named Eliza Lovell Tibbets.

Born in Cincinnati in1823, Eliza’s Swedenborgian faith informed her ideals. Surrounded by artists and free thinkers, her personal journey took her first to New York City, then south to create a better environment for newly freed slaves in racially divided Virginia, and onward to Washington, DC, where she campaigned for women’s rights. But it was in California where she left her true mark, launching an agricultural boom that changed the course of California’s history.

Eliza’s story of faith and idealism will appeal to anyone who is curious about US history, women’s rights, abolitionism, Spiritualism, and California’s early pioneer days. Follow Eliza through loves and fortunes lost and found until she finally finds her paradise in a little town called Riverside.

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Digital Rebellion
The Birth of the Cyber Left
Todd Wolfson
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Digital Rebellion examines the impact of new media and communication technologies on the spatial, strategic, and organizational fabric of social movements.

Todd Wolfson reveals how aspects of the mid-1990s Zapatistas movement--network organizational structure, participatory democratic governance, and the use of communication tools as a binding agent--became essential parts of Indymedia and other Cyber Left organizations. From there he uses oral interviews and other rich ethnographic data to chart the media-based think tanks and experiments that continued the Cyber Left's evolution through the Independent Media Center's birth around the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle.

Melding virtual and traditional ethnographic practice to explore the Cyber Left's cultural logic, Wolfson maps the social, spatial and communicative structure of the Indymedia network and details its operations on the local, national and global level. He looks at the participatory democracy that governs global social movements and the ways democracy and decentralization have come into tension, and how "the switchboard of struggle" conducts stories from the hyper-local and disperses them worldwide. As he shows, understanding the intersection of Indymedia and the Global Social Justice Movement illuminates their foundational role in the Occupy struggle and other emergent movements that have re-energized radical politics.

[more]

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Dynamics of Democracy in Timor-Leste
The Birth of a Democratic Nation, 1999-2012
Rui Graça Feijó
Amsterdam University Press, 2016
The Indonesian province of Timor-Leste made international news when it decided to break away from Indonesia in 1999. The decision sparked deadly rampages by pro-integrationist militias, violence that only abated when the UN sent a force to maintain peace and help ease the way to actual independence. This book details the political history of Timor-Leste, both preceding and following the declaration of independence, and it uses the events, consequences, and lessons of that period to help us understand what to expect for similar experiments in democracy building elsewhere in the world.
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Ellington Uptown
Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, and the Birth of Concert Jazz
John Howland
University of Michigan Press, 2009

The story of the African American contributions to the symphonic jazz vogue of the 1920s through the 1940s.

During the early decades of the twentieth century symphonic jazz involved an expansive family of music that emulated, paralleled, and intersected the jazz tradition. Though now largely forgotten, symphonic jazz was both a popular music---arranging tradition and a repertory of hybrid concert works, both of which reveled in the mildly irreverent interbreeding of white and black and high and low music. While the roots of symphonic jazz can be traced to certain black ragtime orchestras of the teens, the idiom came to maturation in the music of 1920s white dance bands.

Through a close examination of the music of Duke Ellington and James P. Johnson, Ellington Uptown uncovers compositions that have usually fallen in the cracks between concert music, jazz, and popular music. It also places the concert works of these two iconic figures in context through an investigation both of related compositions by black and white peers and of symphonic jazz---style arrangements from a diverse number of early sound films, Broadway musicals, Harlem nightclub floor shows, and select interwar radio programs.

Both Ellington and Johnson were part of a close-knit community of several generations of Harlem musicians. Older figures like Will Marion Cook, Will Vodery, W. C. Handy, and James Reese Europe were the generation of black musicians that initially broke New York entertainment's racial barriers in the first two decades of the century. By the 1920s, Cook, Vodery, and Handy had become mentors to Harlem's younger musicians. This generational connection is a key for understanding Johnson’s and Ellington's ambitions to use the success of Harlem's white-oriented entertainment trade as a springboard for establishing a black concert music tradition based on Harlem jazz and popular music.

John Howland is Assistant Professor of Music at Rutgers University and the cofounder and current editor-in-chief of the journal Jazz Perspectives. This work has been supported through several prestigious awards, including the Lloyd Hibberd Publication Endowment Fund of the American Musicological Society.

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A Few Planes for China
The Birth of the Flying Tigers
Eugenie Buchan
University Press of New England, 2017
On December 7, 1941, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into armed conflict with Japan. In the following months, the Japanese seemed unbeatable as they seized American, British, and European territory across the Pacific: the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies. Nonetheless, in those dark days, the US press began to pick up reports about a group of American mercenaries who were bringing down enemy planes over Burma and western China. The pilots quickly became known as Flying Tigers, and a legend was born. But who were these flyers for hire and how did they wind up in the British colony of Burma? The standard version of events is that in 1940 Colonel Claire Chennault went to Washington and convinced the Roosevelt administration to establish, fund, and equip covert air squadrons that could attack the Japanese in China and possibly bomb Tokyo even before a declaration of war existed between the United States and Japan. That was hardly the case: although present at its creation, Chennault did not create the American Volunteer Group. In A Few Planes for China, Eugenie Buchan draws on wide-ranging new sources to overturn seventy years of received wisdom about the genesis of the Flying Tigers. This strange experiment in airpower was accidental rather than intentional; haphazard decisions and changing threat perceptions shaped its organization and deprived it of resources. In the end it was the British—more than any American in or out of government—who got the Tigers off the ground. On the eve of Pearl Harbor, the most important man behind the Flying Tigers was not Claire Chennault but Winston Churchill.
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The First Wall Street
Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance
Robert E. Wright
University of Chicago Press, 2005
When Americans think of investment and finance, they think of Wall Street—though this was not always the case. During the dawn of the Republic, Philadelphia was the center of American finance. The first stock exchange in the nation was founded there in 1790, and around it the bustling thoroughfare known as Chestnut Street was home to the nation's most powerful financial institutions.

The First Wall Street recounts the fascinating history of Chestnut Street and its forgotten role in the birth of American finance. According to Robert E. Wright, Philadelphia, known for its cultivation of liberty and freedom, blossomed into a financial epicenter during the nation's colonial period. The continent's most prodigious minds and talented financiers flocked to Philly in droves, and by the eve of the Revolution, the Quaker City was the most financially sophisticated region in North America. The First Wall Street reveals how the city played a leading role in the financing of the American Revolution and emerged from that titanic struggle with not just the wealth it forged in the crucible of war, but an invaluable amount of human capital as well.

This capital helped make Philadelphia home to the Bank of the United States, the U.S. Mint, an active securities exchange, and several banks and insurance companies—all clustered in or around Chestnut Street. But as the decades passed, financial institutions were lured to New York, and by the late 1820s only the powerful Second Bank of the United States upheld Philadelphia's financial stature. But when Andrew Jackson vetoed its charter, he sealed the fate of Chestnut Street forever—and of Wall Street too.

Finely nuanced and elegantly written, The First Wall Street will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the United States and the origins of its unrivaled economy.
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Forgotten Clones
The Birth of Cloning and the Biological Revolution
Nathan Crowe
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021

Long before scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland cloned Dolly the sheep in 1996, American embryologist and aspiring cancer researcher Robert Briggs successfully developed the technique of nuclear transplantation using frogs in 1952. Although the history of cloning is often associated with contemporary ethical controversies, Forgotten Clones revisits the influential work of scientists like Briggs, Thomas King, and Marie DiBerardino, before the possibility of human cloning and its ethical implications first registered as a concern in public consciousness, and when many thought the very idea of cloning was experimentally impossible. By focusing instead on new laboratory techniques and practices and their place in Anglo-American science and society in the mid-twentieth century, Nathan Crowe demonstrates how embryos constructed in the lab were only later reconstructed as ethical problems in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of what was then referred to as the Biological Revolution. His book illuminates the importance of the early history of cloning for the biosciences and their institutional, disciplinary, and intellectual contexts, as well as providing new insights into the changing cultural perceptions of the biological sciences after Second World War.

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The Forgotten Network
DuMont and the Birth of American Television
David Weinstein
Temple University Press, 2006
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the name DuMont was synonymous with the new medium of television. Many people first watched TV on DuMont-brand sets, the best receivers money could buy. More viewers enjoyed their first programs on the DuMont network, which was established in 1946. Network founder Allen B. Du Mont became a folk hero for his entrepreneurial spirit in bringing television to the American people. Yet, by 1955, the DuMont network was out of business and its founder and namesake was forced to relinquish control of the company he had spent a quarter century building. The heart of David Weinstein's book examines DuMont's programs and personalities, including Dennis James, Captain Video, Morey Amsterdam, Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners, Ernie Kovacs, and Rocky King, Detective. Weinstein uses rare kinescopes, archival photographs, exclusive interviews, trade journal articles, and corporate documents to tell the story of a "forgotten network" that helped invent the very business of network television. An original and important contribution to the history of television, The Forgotten Network provides a glimpse into the dawn of broadcasting and the growth of our most ubiquitous cultural medium.
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From Midwives to Medicine
The Birth of American Gynecology
McGregor, Deborah K
Rutgers University Press, 1998
From Midwives to Medicine examines the development of modern medical treatment of women and the related history of women's health in the mid-1800s. McGregor looks not only at the medical figures who devised and practiced the innovative therapist, but also at the history of the patient experience in the development and the professionalization of a medical specialty. In exploring the controversial career of J. Marion Sims, "the father of gynecology," and the history of the Woman's Hospital of the State of New York, McGregor chronicles the emergence of a practice involving previously untried medical techniques and the use of experimentation on patients according to a social hierarchy based on race and sex.

Using patient records and archival material from the female governors and administrators at the hospital, From Midwives to Medicine shows how a new medical practice developed out of the changing patterns and historical experiences of childbirth, as well as out of the context of the social relations f the sexes. Sim's patients were slave women in the antebellum South, poor Irish immigrants in the industrial North, and upper-class white. Protestant, Manhattan socialites who sought help for their "hysterical" symptoms. During his career, which began in the South and flourished at the Women's Hospital in New York. Sims performed and perfected his technique to "cure" vesico-vaginal fistulas, the tears of childbirth, from which so many women suffered. But Sims achieved these successes on the operating table only after years of practicing his "silver suture" technique on unanesthetized slave women, who he believed "by the nature of their race... had a specific physiological tolerance for pain unknown to whites."
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Grit, Noise, and Revolution
The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll
David A. Carson
University of Michigan Press, 2005
". . . a great blow-by-blow account of an exciting and still-legendary scene."
---Marshall Crenshaw

From the early days of John Lee Hooker to the heyday of Motown and beyond, Detroit has enjoyed a long reputation as one of the crucibles of American pop music. In Grit, Noise, and Revolution, David Carson turns the spotlight on those hard-rocking, long-haired musicians-influenced by Detroit's R&B heritage-who ultimately helped change the face of rock 'n' roll.

Carson tells the story of some of the great garage-inspired, blue-collar Motor City rock 'n' roll bands that exemplified the Detroit rock sound: The MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, SRC, the Bob Seger System, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, and Grand Funk Railroad.

An indispensable guide for rock aficionados, Grit, Noise, and Revolution features stories of these groundbreaking groups and is the first book to survey Detroit music of the 1960s and 70s-a pivotal era in rock music history.
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How We Live
An Economic Perspective on Americans from Birth to Death
Victor Fuchs
Harvard University Press, 1983

Victor Fuchs, author of Who Shall Live?, cuts through the hand wringing and the “pop” panaceas for America's current social crises in a brilliant analysis of the way we live. The facts are familiar. A doubled rate of divorce. A birth rate cut nearly in half while the percentage of illegitimate births nearly tripled. The young face dismal job prospects, and many of the old are totally dependent on the federal government.

Fuchs's economic approach shows us that the societal upheaval of American life is not created by fiat but rather emerges as millions of men and women make seemingly small choices that are constrained by their circumstances: “Should I go back to school?” “How many children should we have?” “When should I retire?” In a masterly synthesis, he shows the interrelatedness of our choices regarding family, work, health, and education throughout the life cycle. He uses the latest facts of American life to explore three major themes—the fading family, the impact of simple demographics on individual destiny, and the effect of weighing present and future costs and benefits on individual choice.

Fuchs concludes by offering innovative solutions to many contemporary problems: social security, health insurance, child care, youth unemployment, and illegitimate births. Moving beyond the outworn orthodoxies of liberalism and conservatism, he offers a clearer view of our circumstances so that readers from all walks of life can make better private choices, and contribute to more effective public policies.

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Japonisme and the Birth of Cinema
Daisuke Miyao
Duke University Press, 2020
In Japonisme and the Birth of Cinema, Daisuke Miyao explores the influence of Japanese art on the development of early cinematic visual style, particularly the actualité films made by the Lumière brothers between 1895 and 1905. Examining nearly 1,500 Lumière films, Miyao contends that more than being documents of everyday life, they provided a medium for experimenting with aesthetic and cinematic styles imported from Japan. Miyao further analyzes the Lumière films produced in Japan as a negotiation between French Orientalism and Japanese aesthetics. The Lumière films, Miyao shows, are best understood within a media ecology of photography, painting, and cinema, all indebted to the compositional principles of Japonisme and the new ideas of kinetic realism it inspired. The Lumière brothers and their cinematographers shared the contemporaneous obsession among Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists about how to instantly and physically capture the movements of living things in the world. Their engagement with Japonisme, he concludes, constituted a rich and productive two-way conversation between East and West.
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Journalism 1908
Birth of a Profession
Edited by Betty Houchin Winfield
University of Missouri Press, 2008
The year 1908 was not remarkable by most accounts, but it was an auspicious year for journalism. As newspapers sought to recover from big-city yellow journalism and circulation wars that reached their boiling point a few years earlier during the Spanish-American War, press clubs began to champion higher education. And schools dedicated to journalism education, led by the University of Missouri, began to emerge. Now sanctioned by universities, journalism could teach acceptable behavior and establish credentials. It was nothing less than the birth of a profession.

Journalism—1908 opens a window on mass communication a century ago. It tells how the news media in the United States were fundamentally changed by the creation of academic departments and schools of journalism, by the founding of the National Press Club, and by exciting advances that included early newsreels, the introduction of halftones to print, and even changes in newspaper design.

Journalism educator Betty Houchin Winfield has gathered a team of well-known media scholars, all specialists in particular areas of journalism history, to examine the status of their profession in 1908: news organizations, business practices, media law, advertising, forms of coverage from sports to arts, and more. Various facets of journalism are explored and situated within the country’s history and the movement toward reform and professionalism—not only formalized standards and ethics but also labor issues concerning pay, hours, and job differentiation that came with the emergence of new technologies.

This overview of a watershed year is national in scope, examining early journalism education programs not only at Missouri but also at such schools as Colgate, Washington and Lee, Wisconsin, and Columbia. It also reviews the status of women in the profession and looks beyond big-city papers to Progressive Era magazines, the immigrant press, and African American publications.

Journalism—1908 commemorates a century of progress in the media and, given the place of Missouri’s School of Journalism in that history, is an appropriate celebration of that school’s centennial. It is a lode of information about journalism education history that will surprise even many of those in the field and marks a seminal year with lasting significance for the profession.
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Kant, Herder, and the Birth of Anthropology
John H. Zammito
University of Chicago Press, 2001
If Kant had never made the "critical turn" of 1773, would he be worth more than a paragraph in the history of philosophy? Most scholars think not. But in this pioneering book, John H. Zammito challenges that view by revealing a precritical Kant who was immensely more influential than the one philosophers think they know. Zammito also reveals Kant's former student and latter-day rival, Johann Herder, to be a much more philosophically interesting thinker than is usually assumed and, in many important respects, historically as influential as Kant.

Relying on previously unexamined sources, Zammito traces Kant's friendship with Herder as well as the personal tensions that destroyed their relationship. From this he shows how two very different philosophers emerged from the same beginnings and how, because of Herder's reformulation of Kant, anthropology was born out of philosophy.

Shedding light on an overlooked period of philosophical development, this book is a major contribution to the history of philosophy and the social sciences, and especially to the history of anthropology.
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Livestock/Deadstock
Working with Farm Animals from Birth to Slaughter
Authored by Rhoda M. Wilkie
Temple University Press, 2010

The connection between people and companion animals has received considerable attention from scholars. In her original and provocative ethnography Livestock/Deadstock, sociologist Rhoda Wilkie asks, how do the men and women who work on farms, in livestock auction markets, and slaughterhouses, interact with—or disengage from—the animals they encounter in their jobs?

Wilkie provides a nuanced appreciation of how those men and women who breed, rear, show, fatten, market, medically treat, and slaughter livestock, make sense of their interactions with the animals that constitute the focus of their work lives. Using a sociologically informed perspective, Wilkie explores their attitudes and behaviors to explain how agricultural workers think, feel, and relate to food animals.

Livestock/Deadstock looks at both people and animals in the division of labor and shows how commercial and hobby productive contexts provide male and female handlers with varying opportunities to bond with and/or distance themselves from livestock. Exploring the experiences of stockpeople, hobby farmers, auction workers, vets and slaughterers, she offers timely insight into the multifaceted, gendered, and contradictory nature of human roles in food animal production.  

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front cover of Lost Sounds
Lost Sounds
Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919
Tim Brooks
University of Illinois Press, 2004
A groundbreaking history of African Americans in the early recording industry, Lost Sounds examines the first three decades of sound recording in the United States, charting the surprising roles black artists played in the period leading up to the Jazz Age and the remarkably wide range of black music and culture they preserved.

Drawing on more than thirty years of scholarship, Tim Brooks identifies key black recording artists and profiles forty audio pioneers. Brooks assesses the careers and recordings of George W. Johnson, Bert Williams, George Walker, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, W. C. Handy, James Reese Europe, Wilbur Sweatman, Harry T. Burleigh, Roland Hayes, Booker T. Washington, and boxing champion Jack Johnson, plus a host of lesser-known voices. Many of these pioneers struggled to be heard in an era of rampant discrimination. Their stories detail the forces––black and white––that gradually allowed African Americans to enter the mainstream entertainment industry.

Lost Sounds includes Brooks's selected discography of CD reissues and an appendix by Dick Spottswood describing early recordings by black artists in the Caribbean and South America.

[more]

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Love Canal
and the Birth of the Environmental Health Movement
Lois Marie Gibbs
Island Press, 2010
Today, “Love Canal” is synonymous with the struggle for environmental health and justice. But in 1972, when Lois Gibbs moved there with her husband and new baby, it was simply a modest neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York. How did this community become the poster child for toxic disasters? How did Gibbs and her neighbors start a national movement that continues to this day? What do their efforts teach us about current environmental health threats and how to prevent them? Love Canal is Gibbs’ original account of the landmark case, now updated with insights gained over three decades.
[more]

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The Making of Adolf Hitler
The Birth and Rise of Nazism
Eugene Davidson
University of Missouri Press, 1997

The harsh Armistice terms of 1918, the short-lived Weimar Republic, Hindenburg's senile vacillations, and behind-the-scene power plays form the backbone of this excellent study covering German history during the first three-and-a-half decades of the century.

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Making Security Social
Disability, Insurance, and the Birth of the Social Entitlement State in Germany
Greg Eghigian
University of Michigan Press, 2000
While welfare has been subject to pronounced criticism throughout the twentieth century, social insurance has consistently enjoyed the overwhelming support of European policy makers and citizens. This volume argues that the emergence of social insurance represents a paradigmatic shift in modern understandings of health, work, political participation, and government. By institutionalizing compensation, social insurance transformed it into a right that the employed population quickly came to assume.
Theoretically informed and based on intensive archival research on disability insurance records, most of which have never been used by historians, the book considers how social science and political philosophy combined to give shape to the idea of a "social" insurance in the nineteenth century; the process by which social insurance gave birth to modern notions of "disability" and "rehabilitation"; and the early-twentieth-century development of political action groups for the disabled.
Most earlier histories of German social insurance have been legislative histories that stressed the system's coercive features and functions. Making Security Social, by contrast, emphasizes the administrative practices of everyday life, the experience of consumers, and the ability of workers not only to resist, but to transform, social insurance bureaucracy and political debate. It thus demonstrates that social insurance was pivotal in establishing a general attitude of demand, claim, and entitlement as the primary link between the modern state and those it governed.
In addition to historians of Germany, Making Security Social will attract researchers across disciplines who are concerned with public policy, disability studies, and public health.
Greg Eghigian is Associate Professor of History, Penn State University.
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The Malthusian Moment
Global Population Growth and the Birth of American Environmentalism
Robertson, Thomas
Rutgers University Press, 2012
Although Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) is often cited as the founding text of the U.S. environmental movement, in The Malthusian Moment Thomas Robertson locates the origins of modern American environmentalism in twentieth-century adaptations of Thomas Malthus’s concerns about population growth. For many environmentalists, managing population growth became the key to unlocking the most intractable problems facing Americans after World War II—everything from war and the spread of communism overseas to poverty, race riots, and suburban sprawl at home.

Weaving together the international and the domestic in creative new ways, The Malthusian Moment charts the explosion of Malthusian thinking in the United States from World War I to Earth Day 1970, then traces the just-as-surprising decline in concern beginning in the mid-1970s. In addition to offering an unconventional look at World War II and the Cold War through a balanced study of the environmental movement’s most contentious theory, the book sheds new light on some of the big stories of postwar American life: the rise of consumption, the growth of the federal government, urban and suburban problems, the civil rights and women’s movements, the role of scientists in a democracy, new attitudes about sex and sexuality, and the emergence of the “New Right.”

[more]

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The Meddlers
Sovereignty, Empire, and the Birth of Global Economic Governance
Jamie Martin
Harvard University Press, 2022

The Meddlers is an eye-opening, essential new history that places our international financial institutions in the transition from a world defined by empire to one of nation states enmeshed in the world economy.”
—Adam Tooze, Columbia University


A pioneering history traces the origins of global economic governance—and the political conflicts it generates—to the aftermath of World War I.

International economic institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank exert incredible influence over the domestic policies of many states. These institutions date from the end of World War II and amassed power during the neoliberal era of the late twentieth century. But as Jamie Martin shows, if we want to understand their deeper origins and the ideas and dynamics that shaped their controversial powers, we must turn back to the explosive political struggles that attended the birth of global economic governance in the early twentieth century.

The Meddlers tells the story of the first international institutions to govern the world economy, including the League of Nations and Bank for International Settlements, created after World War I. These institutions endowed civil servants, bankers, and colonial authorities from Europe and the United States with extraordinary powers: to enforce austerity, coordinate the policies of independent central banks, oversee development programs, and regulate commodity prices. In a highly unequal world, they faced a new political challenge: was it possible to reach into sovereign states and empires to intervene in domestic economic policies without generating a backlash?

Martin follows the intense political conflicts provoked by the earliest international efforts to govern capitalism—from Weimar Germany to the Balkans, Nationalist China to colonial Malaya, and the Chilean desert to Wall Street. The Meddlers shows how the fraught problems of sovereignty and democracy posed by institutions like the IMF are not unique to late twentieth-century globalization, but instead first emerged during an earlier period of imperial competition, world war, and economic crisis.

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Moving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New Psychiatry
The Birth of Postpsychiatry
Bradley Lewis
University of Michigan Press, 2006
"Interesting and fresh-represents an important and vigorous challenge to a discipline that at the moment is stuck in its own devices and needs a radical critique to begin to move ahead."
--Paul McHugh, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

"Remarkable in its breadth-an interesting and valuable contribution to the burgeoning literature of the philosophy of psychiatry."
--Christian Perring, Dowling College

Moving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New Psychiatry looks at contemporary psychiatric practice from a variety of critical perspectives ranging from Michel Foucault to Donna Haraway. This contribution to the burgeoning field of medical humanities contends that psychiatry's move away from a theory-based model (one favoring psychoanalysis and other talk therapies) to a more scientific model (based on new breakthroughs in neuroscience and pharmacology) has been detrimental to both the profession and its clients. This shift toward a science-based model includes the codification of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to the status of standard scientific reference, enabling mental-health practitioners to assign a tidy classification for any mental disturbance or deviation. Psychiatrist and cultural studies scholar Bradley Lewis argues for "postpsychiatry," a new psychiatric practice informed by the insights of poststructuralist theory.
[more]

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Nut Country
Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy
Edward H. Miller
University of Chicago Press, 2015
On the morning of November 22, 1963, President Kennedy told Jackie as they started for Dallas, “We’re heading into nut country today.” That day’s events ultimately obscured and revealed just how right he was: Oswald was a lone gunman, but the city that surrounded him was full of people who hated Kennedy and everything he stood for, led by a powerful group of ultraconservatives who would eventually remake the Republican party in their own image.

In Nut Country, Edward H. Miller tells the story of that transformation, showing how a group of influential far-right businessmen, religious leaders, and political operatives developed a potent mix of hardline anticommunism, biblical literalism, and racism to generate a violent populism—and widespread power. Though those figures were seen as extreme in Texas and elsewhere, mainstream Republicans nonetheless found themselves forced to make alliances, or tack to the right on topics like segregation. As racial resentment came to fuel the national Republican party’s divisive but effective “Southern Strategy,” the power of the extreme conservatives rooted in Texas only grew.

Drawing direct lines from Dallas to DC, Miller's captivating history offers a fresh understanding of the rise of the new Republican Party and the apocalyptic language, conspiracy theories, and ideological rigidity that remain potent features of our politics today.
[more]

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Pregnancy and Birth in Early Modern France
Treatises by Caring Physicians and Surgeons (1581–1625)
François Rousset, Jean Liebault, Jacques Guillemeau, Jacques Duval, and Louis de Serres
Iter Press, 2013
These texts were written in the vernacular for a readership of physicians and surgeons but also of midwives and lay women. So they present important evidence that, contrary to stereotypes, women were the recipients of medical texts written specifically for them. More generally, these texts demonstrate a strong interest in women’s health, indicating that early modern physicians and surgeons had a new interest in the specificity of female anatomy and women’s diseases. The texts selected and translated in this volume allow the reader to access an important group of primary sources on issues related to women’s health, including childbirth and caesarean section, sterility, miscarriage, breastfeeding, etc. The selection of texts is well organized and coherent, the translation is accurate and fluent, and the texts are adequately annotated, so the book will be easily used by scholars and students, including undergraduates. It provides evidence of a new concern and attention for women’s health needs, which, most interestingly, often went hand-in-hand with the rejection of misogynist stereotypes and the challenging of conventional views of female subordination and inferiority.
—Gianna Pomata
Professor of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
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Project 9
The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II
Dennis R. Okerstrom
University of Missouri Press, 2014
Project 9: The Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II is a thoroughly researched narrative of the Allied joint project to invade Burma by air. Beginning with its inception at the Quebec Conference of 1943 and continuing through Operation Thursday until the death of the brilliant British General Orde Wingate in March 1944, less than a month after the successful invasion of Burma, Project 9 details all aspects of this covert mission, including the selection of the American airmen, the procurement of the aircraft, the joint training with British troops, and the dangerous night-time assault behind Japanese lines by glider.
 
Based on review of hundreds of documents as well as interviews with surviving Air Commandos, this is the history of a colorful, autonomous, and highly effective military unit that included some of the most recognizable names of the era. Tasked by the General of the Army Air Forces, H. H. “Hap” Arnold, to provide air support for British troops under the eccentric Major General Wingate as they operated behind Japanese lines in Burma, the Air Commandos were breaking entirely new ground in operational theory, tactics, and inter-Allied cooperation. Okerstrom’s in-depth research and analysis in Project 9 shed light on the operations of America’s first foray into special military operations, when these heroes led the way for the formation of modern special operations teams such as Delta Force and Seal Team Six.
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The Pseudoscience Wars
Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe
Michael D. Gordin
University of Chicago Press, 2012
Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and religious writings of humanity reveal that around 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously close to Earth, triggering widespread natural disasters and threatening the destruction of all life before settling into solar orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor.
 
Sound implausible? Well, from 1950 until the late 1970s, a huge number of people begged to differ, as they devoured Immanuel Velikovsky’s major best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that perhaps this polymathic thinker held the key to a new science and a new history. Scientists, on the other hand, assaulted Velikovsky’s book, his followers, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the largely forgotten figure of Velikovsky and uses his strange career and surprisingly influential writings to explore the changing definitions of the line that separates legitimate scientific inquiry from what is deemed bunk, and to show how vital this question remains to us today. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material from Velikovsky’s personal archives, Gordin presents a behind-the-scenes history of the writer’s career, from his initial burst of success through his growing influence on the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. Along the way, he offers fascinating glimpses into the histories and effects of other fringe doctrines, including creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and more—all of which have surprising connections to Velikovsky’s theories.
 
Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.

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Publishing The Prince
History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism
Jacob Soll
University of Michigan Press, 2010

As new ideas arose during the Enlightenment, many political thinkers published their own versions of popular early modern "absolutist" texts and transformed them into manuals of political resistance. As a result, these works never achieved a fixed and stable edition. Publishing The Prince illustrates how Abraham-Nicolas Amelot de La Houssaye created the most popular late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century version of Machiavelli's masterpiece. In the process of translating, Amelot also transformed the work, altering its form and meaning, and his ideas spread through later editions.

Revising the orthodox schema of the public sphere in which political authority shifted away from the crown with the rise of bourgeois civil society in the eighteenth century, Soll uses the example of Amelot to show for the first time how the public sphere in fact grew out of the learned and even royal libraries of erudite scholars and the bookshops of subversive, not-so-polite publicists of the republic of letters.

Jacob Soll is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.

Cover art courtesy of Annenberg Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
Jacket Design: Stephanie Milanowski

"Jacob Soll traces the origins of Enlightenment criticism to the practices of learned humanists and hard-pressed literary entrepreneurs. This learned and lively book is also a tour de force of historical research and interpretation."
---Anthony Grafton, author of Cardano's Cosmos and Bring Out Your Dead

"Brilliant. How the printed page changed political philosophy into investigative reporting, and reason of state into the unmasking of power."
---J. G. A. Pocock, author of The Machiavellian Moment

"Soll's path-breaking study is a 'must read' for all those interested in the history of political thought and early modern intellectual history."
---Barbara Shapiro, University of California Berkeley

"Soll has done [Amelot] and his context justice, writing as he does with a clear, singular, and welcome voice."
---Margaret C. Jacobs, American Historical Review

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A Pure Solar World
Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism
By Paul Youngquist
University of Texas Press, 2016

Surveying the range of Sun Ra’s extraordinary creativity, this book explores how the father of Afrofuturism brought “space music” to a planet in need of transformation, supporting the aspirations of black people in an inhospitable white world.

Sun Ra said he came from Saturn. Known on earth for his inventive music and extravagant stage shows, he pioneered free-form improvisation in an ensemble setting with the devoted band he called the “Arkestra.” Sun Ra took jazz from the inner city to outer space, infusing traditional swing with far-out harmonies, rhythms, and sounds. Described as the father of Afrofuturism, Sun Ra created “space music” as a means of building a better future for American blacks here on earth.

A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism offers a spirited introduction to the life and work of this legendary but underappreciated musician, composer, and poet. Paul Youngquist explores and assesses Sun Ra’s wide-ranging creative output—music, public preaching, graphic design, film and stage performance, and poetry—and connects his diverse undertakings to the culture and politics of his times, including the space race, the rise of technocracy, the civil rights movement, and even space-age bachelor-pad music. By thoroughly examining the astro-black mythology that Sun Ra espoused, Youngquist masterfully demonstrates that he offered both a holistic response to a planet desperately in need of new visions and vibrations and a new kind of political activism that used popular culture to advance social change. In a nation obsessed with space and confused about race, Sun Ra aimed not just at assimilation for the socially disfranchised but even more at a wholesale transformation of American society and a more creative, egalitarian world.

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Reason's Muse
Sexual Difference and the Birth of Democracy
Geneviève Fraisse
University of Chicago Press, 1994
The French Revolution proclaimed the equality of all human beings, yet women remained less than equal in the new society. The exclusion of women at the birth of modern democracy required considerable justification, and by tracing the course of this reasoning through early nineteenth-century texts, Genevieve Fraisse maps a moment of crisis in the history of sexual difference.

Through an analysis of literary, religious, legal, philosophical, and medical texts, Fraisse links a range of positions on women's proper role in society to specific historical and rhetorical circumstances. She shows how the Revolution marked a sharp break in the way women were represented in language, as traditional bantering about the "war of the sexes" gave way to serious discussions of the political and social meanings of sexual difference. Following this discussion on three different planes—the economical, the political, and the biological—Fraisse looks at the exclusion of women against the backdrop of democracy's inevitable lie: the affirmation of an equality so abstract it was impossible to concretely apply.

This study of the place of sexual equality in the founding moment of democracy offers insight into a persistent question: whether female emancipation is to be found through the achievement of equality with men or in the celebration of female difference.
[more]

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The Renaissance Restored
Paintings Conservation and the Birth of Modern Art History in Nineteenth-Century Europe
Matthew Hayes
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2021
This handsomely illustrated volume traces the intersections of art history and paintings restoration in nineteenth-century Europe.

Repairing works of art and writing about them—the practices that became art conservation and art history—share a common ancestry. By the nineteenth century the two fields had become inseparably linked. While the art historical scholarship of this period has been widely studied, its restoration practices have received less scrutiny—until now.

This book charts the intersections between art history and conservation in the treatment of Italian Renaissance paintings in nineteenth-century Europe. Initial chapters discuss the restoration of works by Giotto and Titian, framed by the contemporary scholarship of art historians such as Jacob Burckhardt, G. B. Cavalcaselle, and Joseph Crowe that was redefining the earlier age. Subsequent chapters recount how paintings conservation was integrated into museum settings. The narrative uses period texts, unpublished archival materials, and historical photographs in probing how paintings looked at a time when scholars were writing the foundational texts of art history, and how contemporary restorers were negotiating the appearances of these works. The book proposes a model for a new conservation history, object focused yet enriched by consideration of a wider cultural horizon.
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Satan the Heretic
The Birth of Demonology in the Medieval West
Alain Boureau
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Before the end of the thirteenth century, theologians had little interest in demons, but with Thomas Aquinas and his formidable “Treatise on Evil” in 1272, everything changed. In Satan the Heretic, Alain Boureau trains his skeptical eye not on Satan or Satanism, but on the birth of demonology and the sudden belief in the power of demons who inhabited Satan’s Court, setting out to understand not why people believed in demons, but why theologians—especially Pope John XXII—became so interested in the subject.

Depicting this new demonology, Satan the Heretic considers the period between the mid-thirteenth and mid-fourteenth centuries when demons, in the eyes of Church authorities, suddenly burst forth, more real and more terrifying than ever before in the history of Christianity. Boureau argues that the rise in this obsession with demons occurs at the crossroads of the rise of sovereignties and of the individual, a rise that, tellingly, also coincides with the emergence of the modern legal system in the European West.

Teeming with original insights and lively anecdotes, Satan the Heretic is a significant contribution to the history of Christian demonology from one of the most original minds in the field of medieval studies today. 

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Screening Out the Past
The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry
Lary May
University of Chicago Press, 1983
"A scrupulously argued, clearly written account of Hollywood's role in bringing America skipping and giggling from the Victorian world into the twentieth century."—Philip French, London Sunday Observer

"It is impossible to follow a narrow trail through the movies. The vistas keep opening, and May, linking movies to mass society, finds and makes new perceptions on emerging women, the rise of the studios, the special growth and appeal of Los Angeles, the nature of studio leadership and the early and persistent imputed corrupting power of film."—Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times

"Lary May . . . has provided a set of new and rich insights into the changing patterns of American culture, 1890-1929. . . . His concentration on social and cultural history indirectly provides answers to questions which have baffled political historians for several decades."—David W. Noble, Minneapolis Tribune

"[Screening Out the Past is] a scrupulously argued, clearly written account of Hollywood's role in bringing America skipping and giggling from the Victorian world into the twentieth century. May is splendid on the psychology of the immigrant movie moguls, on Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford as post Great War role models, and many other things."—Philip French, London Sunday Observor

"Altogether, the book represents the most successful blending of movie and cultural history to date."—Benjamin McArthur, Journal of Social History
[more]

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Securing the Future
Investing in Children From Birth to College
Sheldon Danziger
Russell Sage Foundation, 2000
More than ever, the economic health of a country depends upon the skills, knowledge, and capacities of its people. How does a person acquire these human assets and how can we promote their development? Securing the Future assembles an interdisciplinary team of scholars to investigate the full range of factors—pediatric, psychological, social, and economic—that bear on a child's development into a well-adjusted, economically productive member of society. A central purpose of the volume is to identify sound interventions that will boost human assets, particularly among the disadvantaged. The book provides a comprehensive evaluation of current initiatives and offers a wealth of new suggestions for effective public and private investments in child development. While children from affluent, highly educated families have good quality child care and an expensive education provided for them, children from poor families make do with informal child care and a public school system that does not always meet their needs. How might we best redress this growing imbalance? The contributors to this volume recommend policies that treat academic attainment together with psychological development and social adjustment. Mentoring programs, for example, promote better school performance by first fostering a young person's motivation to learn. Investments made early in life, such as preschool education, are shown to have the greatest impact on later learning for the least cost. In their focus upon children, however, the authors do not neglect the important links between generations. Poverty and inequality harm the development of parents and children alike. Interventions that empower parents to fight for better services and better schools are also of great benefit to their children. Securing the Future shows how investments in child development are both a means to an end and an end in themselves. They benefit the child directly and they also help that child contribute to the well-being of society. This book points us toward more effective strategies for promoting the economic success and the social cohesion of future generations. A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building
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Shooting Cowboys and Indians
Silent Western Films, American Culture, and the Birth of Hollywood
Andrew Brodie Smith
University Press of Colorado, 2003
Academics have generally dismissed Hollywood's cowboy and Indian movies - one of its defining successful genres - as specious, one-dimensional, and crassly commercial. In Shooting Cowboys and Indians, Andrew Brodie Smith challenges this simplistic characterization of the genre, illustrating the complex and sometimes contentious process by which business interests commercialized images of the West.

Tracing the western from its hazy silent-picture origins in the 1890s to the advent of talking pictures in the 1920s, Smith examines the ways in which silent westerns contributed to the overall development of the film industry.

Focusing on such early important production companies as Selig Polyscope, New York Motion Picture, and Essanay, Smith revises current thinking about the birth of Hollywood and the establishment of Los Angeles as the nexus of filmmaking in the United States. Smith also reveals the role silent westerns played in the creation of the white male screen hero that dominated American popular culture in the twentieth century.

Illustrated with dozens of historic photos and movie stills, this engaging and substantive story will appeal to scholars interested in Western history, film history, and film studies as well as general readers hoping to learn more about this little-known chapter in popular filmmaking.

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Skull in the Ashes
Murder, a Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence in America
Peter Kaufman
University of Iowa Press, 2013
On a February night in 1897, the general store in Walford, Iowa, burned down. The next morning, townspeople discovered a charred corpse in the ashes. Everyone knew that the store’s owner, Frank Novak, had been sleeping in the store as a safeguard against burglars. Now all that remained were a few of his personal items scattered under the body.
At first, it seemed to be a tragic accident mitigated just a bit by Novak’s foresight in buying generous life insurance policies to provide for his family. But soon an investigation by the ambitious new county attorney, M. J. Tobin, turned up evidence suggesting that the dead man might actually be Edward Murray, a hard-drinking local laborer. Relying upon newly developed forensic techniques, Tobin gradually built a case implicating Novak in Murray’s murder. But all he had was circumstantial evidence, and up to that time few murder convictions had been won on that basis in the United States.
Others besides Tobin were interested in the case, including several companies that had sold Novak life insurance policies. One agency hired detectives to track down every clue regarding the suspect’s whereabouts. Newspapers across the country ran sensational headlines with melodramatic coverage of the manhunt. Veteran detective Red Perrin’s determined trek over icy mountain paths and dangerous river rapids to the raw Yukon Territory town of Dawson City, which was booming with prospectors as the Klondike gold rush began, made for especially good copy.
Skull in the Ashes traces the actions of Novak, Tobin, and Perrin, showing how the Walford fire played a pivotal role in each man’s life. Along the way, author Peter Kaufman gives readers a fascinating glimpse into forensics, detective work, trial strategies, and prison life at the close of the nineteenth century. As much as it is a chilling tale of a cold-blooded murder and its aftermath, this is also the story of three ambitious young men and their struggle to succeed in a rapidly modernizing world.
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Speaker Jim Wright
Power, Scandal, and the Birth of Modern Politics
By J. Brooks Flippen
University of Texas Press, 2018

Honorable Mention, Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book, Texas Institute of Letters, 2019

Jim Wright made his mark on virtually every major public policy issue in the later twentieth century—energy, education, taxes, transportation, environmental protection, civil rights, criminal justice, and foreign relations, among them. He played a significant role in peace initiatives in Central America and in the Camp David Accords, and he was the first American politician to speak live on Soviet television. A Democrat representing Texas’s twelfth district (Fort Worth), Wright served in the US House of Representatives from the Eisenhower administration to the presidency of George H. W. Bush, including twelve years (1977–1989) as majority leader and speaker. His long congressional ascension and sudden fall in a highly partisan ethics scandal spearheaded by Newt Gingrich mirrored the evolution of Congress as an institution.

Speaker Jim Wright traces the congressman’s long life and career in a highly readable narrative grounded in extensive interviews with Wright and access to his personal diaries. A skilled connector who bridged the conservative and liberal wings of the Democratic party while forging alliances with Republicans to pass legislation, Wright ultimately fell victim to a new era of political infighting, as well as to his own hubris and mistakes. J. Brooks Flippen shows how Wright’s career shaped the political culture of Congress, from its internal rules and power structure to its growing partisanship, even as those new dynamics eventually contributed to his political demise. To understand Jim Wright in all his complexity is to understand the story of modern American politics.

[more]

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Spider Web
The Birth of American Anticommunism
Nick Fischer
University of Illinois Press, 2016
The McCarthy-era witch hunts marked the culmination of an anticommunist crusade launched after the First World War. With Bolshevism triumphant in Russia and public discontent shaking the United States, conservatives at every level of government and business created a network dedicated to sweeping away the "spider web" of radicalism they saw threatening the nation. In this groundbreaking study, Nick Fischer shines a light on right-wing activities during the interwar period. Conservatives, eager to dispel communism's appeal to the working class, railed against a supposed Soviet-directed conspiracy composed of socialists, trade unions, peace and civil liberties groups, feminists, liberals, aliens, and Jews. Their rhetoric and power made for devastating weapons in their systematic war for control of the country against progressive causes. But, as Fischer shows, the term spider web far more accurately described the anticommunist movement than it did the makeup and operations of international communism. Fischer details how anticommunist myths and propaganda influenced mainstream politics in America, and how its ongoing efforts paved the way for the McCarthyite Fifties--and augured the conservative backlash that would one day transform American politics.
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Spirituals and the Birth of a Black Entertainment Industry
Sandra Jean Graham
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Spirituals performed by jubilee troupes became a sensation in post-Civil War America. First brought to the stage by choral ensembles like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, spirituals anchored a wide range of late nineteenth-century entertainments, including minstrelsy, variety, and plays by both black and white companies. In the first book-length treatment of postbellum spirituals in theatrical entertainments, Sandra Jean Graham mines a trove of resources to chart the spiritual's journey from the private lives of slaves to the concert stage. Graham navigates the conflicting agendas of those who, in adapting spirituals for their own ends, sold conceptions of racial identity to their patrons. In so doing they lay the foundation for a black entertainment industry whose artistic, financial, and cultural practices extended into the twentieth century. A companion website contains jubilee troupe personnel, recordings, and profiles of 85 jubilee groups. Please go to: http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/graham/spirituals/
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The Subject in Art
Portraiture and the Birth of the Modern
Catherine M. Soussloff
Duke University Press, 2006
Challenging prevailing theories regarding the birth of the subject, Catherine M. Soussloff argues that the modern subject did not emerge from psychoanalysis or existential philosophy but rather in the theory and practice of portraiture in early-twentieth-century Vienna. Soussloff traces the development in Vienna of an ethics of representation that emphasized subjects as socially and historically constructed selves who could only be understood—and understand themselves—in relation to others, including the portrait painters and the viewers. In this beautifully illustrated book, she demonstrates both how portrait painters began to focus on the interior lives of their subjects and how the discipline of art history developed around the genre of portraiture.

Soussloff combines a historically grounded examination of art and art historical thinking in Vienna with subsequent theories of portraiture and a careful historiography of philosophical and psychoanalytic approaches to human consciousness from Hegel to Sartre and from Freud to Lacan. She chronicles the emergence of a social theory of art among the art historians of the Vienna School, demonstrates how the Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka depicted the Jewish subject, and explores the development of pictorialist photography. Reflecting on the implications of the visualized, modern subject for textual and linguistic analyses of subjectivity, Soussloff concludes that the Viennese art historians, photographers, and painters will henceforth have to be recognized as precursors to such better-known theorists of the subject as Sartre, Foucault, and Lacan.

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Subversive Sounds
Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans
Charles B. Hersch
University of Chicago Press, 2008

Subversive Sounds probes New Orleans’s history, uncovering a web of racial interconnections and animosities that was instrumental to the creation of a vital American art form—jazz. Drawing on oral histories, police reports, newspaper accounts, and vintage recordings, Charles Hersch brings to vivid life the neighborhoods and nightspots where jazz was born.

This volume shows how musicians such as Jelly Roll Morton, Nick La Rocca, and Louis Armstrong negotiated New Orleans’s complex racial rules to pursue their craft and how, in order to widen their audiences, they became fluent in a variety of musical traditions from diverse ethnic sources. These encounters with other music and races subverted their own racial identities and changed the way they played—a musical miscegenation that, in the shadow of Jim Crow, undermined the pursuit of racial purity and indelibly transformed American culture.

“More than timely . . . Hersch orchestrates voices of musicians on both sides of the racial divide in underscoring how porous the music made the boundaries of race and class.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune

 

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Surf and Rescue
George Freeth and the Birth of California Beach Culture
Patrick Moser
University of Illinois Press, 2022
The mixed-race Hawaiian athlete George Freeth brought surfing to Venice, California, in 1907. Over the next twelve years, Freeth taught Southern Californians to surf and swim while creating a modern lifeguard service that transformed the beach into a destination for fun, leisure, and excitement. Patrick Moser places Freeth’s inspiring life story against the rise of the Southern California beach culture he helped shape and define. Freeth made headlines with his rescue of seven fishermen, an act of heroism that highlighted his innovative lifeguarding techniques. But he also founded California's first surf club and coached both male and female athletes, including Olympic swimming champion and “father of modern surfing” Duke Kahanamoku. Often in financial straits, Freeth persevered as a teacher and lifeguarding pioneer--building a legacy that endured long after his death during the 1919 influenza pandemic.

A compelling merger of biography and sports history, Surf and Rescue brings to light the forgotten figure whose novel way of seeing the beach sparked the imaginations of people around the world.

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Tomorrow, the World
The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy
Stephen Wertheim
Harvard University Press, 2020

A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year

“Even in these dismal times genuinely important books do occasionally make their appearance…You really ought to read it…A tour de force…While Wertheim is not the first to expose isolationism as a carefully constructed myth, he does so with devastating effect.”
—Andrew J. Bacevich, The Nation

For most of its history, the United States avoided making political and military commitments that would entangle it in power politics. Then, suddenly, it conceived a new role for itself as an armed superpower—and never looked back. In Tomorrow, the World, Stephen Wertheim traces America’s transformation to World War II, right before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As late as 1940, the small coterie formulating U.S. foreign policy wanted British preeminence to continue. Axis conquests swept away their assumptions, leading them to conclude that America should extend its form of law and order across the globe, and back it at gunpoint. No one really favored “isolationism”—a term introduced by advocates of armed supremacy to burnish their cause. We live, Wertheim warns, in the world these men created. A sophisticated and impassioned account that questions the wisdom of U.S. supremacy, Tomorrow, the World reveals the intellectual path that brought us to today’s endless wars.

“Its implications are invigorating…Wertheim opens space for Americans to reexamine their own history and ask themselves whether primacy has ever really met their interests.”
New Republic

“For almost 80 years now, historians and diplomats have sought not only to describe America’s swift advance to global primacy but also to explain it…Any writer wanting to make a novel contribution either has to have evidence for a new interpretation, or at least be making an older argument in some improved and eye-catching way. Tomorrow, the World does both.”
—Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal

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Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel
Roberta S. Trites
University of Iowa Press, 2007
Trites argues that Twain and Alcott wrote on similar topics because they were so deeply affected by the Civil War, by cataclysmic emotional and financial losses in their families, by their cultural immersion in the tenets of Protestant philosophy, and by sexual tensions that may have stimulated their interest in writing for adolescents, Trites demonstrates how the authors participated in a cultural dynamic that marked the changing nature of adolescence in America, provoking a literary sentiment that continues to inform young adult literature. Both intuited that the transitory nature of adolescence makes it ripe for expression about human potential for change and reform.
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When the Girls Came Out to Play
The Birth Of American Sportswear
Patricia C. Warner
University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
A study of the evolution of American women's clothing, When the Girls Came Out to Play traces the history of modern sportswear as a universal style that broke down traditional gender roles. Patricia Warner shows how this profound cultural shift, which did not reach fruition until World War II, originated during the previous century with the gradual expansion of socially acceptable physical activity for women. Behind this development was a growing interest in sports and exercise that was further nurtured by the establishment of schools of higher education for women.The participation of women in athletic pursuits previously reserved for men began with the relatively genteel sports of croquet and tennis. With the founding of women's colleges, these "ladylike" games were supplemented by more vigorous activities and competitive team sports, from gymnastics to swimming to basketball. At first, Warner points out, women literally had nothing to wear for these activities. Whereas such fashionable attire as corsets, petticoats, hats, and gloves could be worn while playing outdoor lawn games, more strenuous athletic endeavors required less physically restrictive clothing. Even so, change came only gradually, as women's colleges, shielded from public scrutiny and prying male eyes, permitted the adoption of looser, more comfortable apparel for physical education. Many of these new outfits featured trousers, garments considered taboo for women, though they often remained hidden beneath voluminous skirts.

Over time, however, the practicality and versatility of such clothing led to social acceptance, laying the foundation for the emergence of the now ubiquitous yet distinctly American style known as sportswear. Although we take it for granted, Warner observes, this is the first time in the history of the world that such universality has existed in clothing, and it has lasted now for well over half a century—in itself a marvel, considering the speed of fashion change in an era of instant messages and images.
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William J. Spillman and the Birth of Agricultural Economics
Laurie Winn Carlson
University of Missouri Press, 2005
William J. Spillman (1863–1931), considered the founder of agricultural economics, was a scientist and popular agricultural educator for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the author of more than three hundred articles and four books, Spillman left a lasting mark on American agriculture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with his pioneering solutions for the problems of overproduction and low prices.
Spillman grew up in Lawrence County, Missouri, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri in Columbia. In this biography, Laurie Winn Carlson looks at Spillman’s career as he moved from Missouri to Washington, D.C., where his concepts shaped what became the agricultural New Deal and, eventually, the current farm allotment programs. By placing Spillman’s story within the larger context of American agricultural history, Carlson takes readers inside the USDA during the years our nation’s agricultural policy took shape. She studies the development of the field of genetics, the conflicts regarding agricultural education and the creation of the Cooperative Extension Service, the overproduction crisis after World War I and Spillman’s ideas for allotment, and the commercial fertilizer industry and the Law of Diminishing Returns. She also looks at efforts to restrict research, the censorship of publications directed toward farmers, and personal rivalries within the USDA.
This examination of agriculture through Spillman’s eyes reveals that industrialized agriculture was not inevitable but a carefully crafted ideology that farmers were pushed to embrace. Although highly contested by farmers as well as employees within the USDA, industry, government, politics, and technology, industrialized agriculture moved people off the land, replacing them with large-scale mechanized production.
An iconoclast within the USDA bureaucracy, Spillman was a “farm evangelist,” taking his message of diversified farming across the country. He believed that farmers should integrate livestock and rotate crops, rather than continue the monoculture production that was evolving due to the increasing industrialization of farming. Those issues, as well as the Law of Diminishing Returns, sustainability, and popular education, all matters to which Spillman devoted his career, are more important today than ever.
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Women and Weasels
Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome
Maurizio Bettini
University of Chicago Press, 2013
If you told a woman her sex had a shared, long-lived history with weasels, she might deck you. But those familiar with mythology know better: that the connection between women and weasels is an ancient and favorable one, based in the Greek myth of a midwife who tricked the gods to ease Heracles’s birth—and was turned into a weasel by Hera as punishment. Following this story as it is retold over centuries in literature and art, Women and Weasels takes us on a journey through mythology and ancient belief, revising our understanding of myth, heroism, and the status of women and animals in Western culture.
 
Maurizio Bettini recounts and analyzes a variety of key literary and visual moments that highlight the weasel’s many attributes. We learn of its legendary sexual and childbearing habits and symbolic association with witchcraft and midwifery, its role as a domestic pet favored by women, and its ability to slip in and out of tight spaces. The weasel, Bettini reveals, is present at many unexpected moments in human history, assisting women in labor and thwarting enemies who might plot their ruin. With a parade of symbolic associations between weasels and women—witches, prostitutes, midwives, sisters-in-law, brides, mothers, and heroes—Bettini brings to life one of the most venerable and enduring myths of Western culture.
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Writing the Record
The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism
Devon Powers
University of Massachusetts Press, 2013
During the mid-1960s, a small group of young journalists made it their mission to write about popular music, especially rock, as something worthy of serious intellectual scrutiny. Their efforts not only transformed the perspective on the era's music but revolutionized how Americans have come to think, talk, and write about popular music ever since.

In Writing the Record, Devon Powers explores this shift by focusing on The Village Voice, a key publication in the rise of rock criticism. Revisiting the work of early pop critics such as Richard Goldstein and Robert Christgau, Powers shows how they stood at the front lines of the mass culture debates, challenging old assumptions and hierarchies and offering pioneering political and social critiques of the music. Part of a college-educated generation of journalists, Voice critics explored connections between rock and contemporary intellectual trends such as postmodernism, identity politics, and critical theory. In so doing, they became important forerunners of the academic study of popular culture that would emerge during the 1970s.

Drawing on archival materials, interviews, and insights from media and cultural studies, Powers not only narrates a story that has been long overlooked but also argues that pop music criticism has been an important channel for the expression of public intellectualism. This is a history that is particularly relevant today, given the challenges faced by criticism of all stripes in our current media environment. Powers makes the case for the value of well-informed cultural criticism in an age when it is often suggested that "everyone is a critic."
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