front cover of Boston Ballerina
Boston Ballerina
A Dancer, a Company, an Era
Laura Young and Janine Parker
University Press of New England, 2017
As a charter member of Boston Ballet and its predecessor, New England Civic Ballet, Laura Young has been affiliated with the company longer than any other dancer in its history. This book is both a memoir of her personal journey and a fascinating account of Boston Ballet’s rise from a regional troupe to the internationally recognized company that it is today. It is interspersed with ruminations on the history of ballet, stories from the company’s Balanchine-influenced early years under founder E. Virginia Williams, and recollections from noteworthy tours, including those featuring the legendary Rudolf Nureyev, with whom Young was frequently paired. After retiring from the stage, Young has continued her affiliation with Boston Ballet, both as an administrator and a teacher. Working in collaboration with Janine Parker, Young has written a lively, informed, and entertaining memoir.
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Company
Sam Ross
Four Way Books, 2019
Ross’s poems are at once earthy and delicate and view their subjects through a perceptive, picaresque lens.
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The Company of Heaven
Stories from Haiti
Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell
University of Iowa Press, 2010

Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell’s award-winning stories transport you to Haiti—to a lush, lyrical, flamboyant, and spirit-filled Haiti where palm trees shine wet with moonlight and the sky paints a yellow screen over your head and the ocean sparkles with thousands of golden eyes—and keep you there forever. Her singular characters mysteriously address the deeper meanings of human existence. They also dream of escape, whether from themselves, from family, from Vodou, from financial and cultural difficulties and the politicians that create them, or from the country itself, but Haiti will forever remain part of their souls and part of the thoughts of her readers.

 Some characters do achieve escape through the mind or through sea voyage—escape found by surrendering to spectacular fantasies and madness and love, bargaining with God, joining the boat people. Marie-Ange Saint-Jacques’s mother sacrifices everything to ensure her daughter’s survival on a perilous boat trip, Angelina waits to fly away to Nou Yòk, Vivi creates her own circus with dozens of rescued dogs, Gustave dies a martyr to his faith. Throughout, the “I” who moves in and out of these dream-filled stories embraces the heavenly mysteries found in “the room where all things lost are stored with grace.”

We begin our journey to Haiti with images of a little girl in a pink bedroom reading by candlelight a book about the life of Saint Bernadette, surrounded by the bewitching scents, sounds, and textures of a Caribbean night. Each story stands by itself, but some characters can be followed from one story to another through the transformations they undergo as a result of their life experiences. In this way, the collection can be read as one story, the story of a family trapped in a personal and cultural drama and the story of the people with whom the family interacts, themselves burdened by the need to survive within Haiti’s rigorously class-determined society and blessed by their relationship to the company of heaven in which they live and for which they are destined.

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A Company of Poets
Louis Simpson
University of Michigan Press, 1981
This is a collection of essays, reviews, and interviews in which the author, himself a distinguished poet, expresses his ideas about the nature of poetry and criticizes his contemporaries. Simpson takes his stand with the “poetry of feeling” and agrees with Woodsworth that poetry should be written in a selection of the language “really spoken by men.” His reviews of American poets who have since become famous show Simpson to be an acute an innovative thinker. There are also essays on modern classics: Apollinaire, MacDiarmid, Lawrence, Crane, and Pound. The collection shows the full range of the critic of whom the Times Literary Supplement recently said: “Simpson’s critical and narrative voice is very distinctive – it is generous, sympathetic, spontaneously free and wittily fatalistic. Most originally, perhaps, this voice marries criticism, biography, literary and cultural history in an imaginative atmosphere of sheer wonder and discovery.”
 
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The Company of Words
Hegel, Language, and Systematic Philosophy
John McCumber
Northwestern University Press, 1993
In this provocative work, John McCumber asks us to understand Hegel's system as a new approach to linguistic communication. Hegel, he argues, is concerned with building community and mutual comprehension rather than with completing metaphysics or developing historical critique. According to McCumber's radial interpretation, Hegel constructs a complex ideal of how we should use certain words. This ideal philosophical vocabulary is flexible and open to revision, and is constructed according to principles available at all time and all places; it is responsive to, but not dictated by, the shared language of cultured discourse whose concepts it attempts to refine and universalize.
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In the Company of Books
Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America
Sarah Wadsworth
University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
A vital feature of American culture in the nineteenth century was the growing awareness that the literary marketplace consisted not of a single, unified, relatively homogeneous reading public but rather of many disparate, overlapping reading communities differentiated by interests, class, and level of education as well as by gender and stage of life. Tracing the segmentation of the literary marketplace in nineteenth-century America, this book analyzes the implications of the subdivided literary field for readers, writers, and literature itself.

With sections focusing on segmentation by age, gender, and cultural status, In the Company of Books analyzes the ways authors and publishers carved up the field of literary production into a multitude of distinct submarkets, differentiated their products, and targeted specific groups of readers in order to guide their book-buying decisions. Combining innovative approaches to canonical authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Henry James with engaging investigations into the careers of many lesser-known literary figures, Sarah Wadsworth reveals how American writers responded to—and contributed to—this diverse, and diversified, market.

In the Company of Books contends that specialized editorial and marketing tactics, in concert with the narrative strategies of authors and the reading practices of the book-buying public, transformed the literary landscape, leading to new roles for the book in American culture, the innovation of literary genres, and new relationships between books and readers. Both an exploration of a fragmented print culture through the lens of nineteenth-century American literature and an analysis of nineteenth-century American literature from the perspective of this subdivided marketplace, this wide-ranging study offers fresh insight into the impact of market forces on the development of American literature.
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In the Company of Demons
Unnatural Beings, Love, and Identity in the Italian Renaissance
Armando Maggi
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Who are the familiar spirits of classical culture and what is their relationship to Christian demons? In its interpretation of Latin and Greek culture, Christianity contends that Satan is behind all classical deities, semi-gods, and spiritual creatures, including the gods of the household, the lares and penates.But with In the Company of Demons, the world’s leading demonologist Armando Maggi argues that the great thinkers of the Italian Renaissance had a more nuanced and perhaps less sinister interpretation of these creatures or spiritual bodies.

Maggi leads us straight to the heart of what Italian Renaissance culture thought familiar spirits were. Through close readings of Giovan Francesco Pico della Mirandola, Strozzi Cigogna, Pompeo della Barba, Ludovico Sinistrari, and others, we find that these spirits or demons speak through their sudden and striking appearances—their very bodies seen as metaphors to be interpreted. The form of the body, Maggi explains, relies on the spirits’ knowledge of their human interlocutors’ pasts. But their core trait is compassion, and sometimes their odd, eerie arrivals are seen as harbingers or warnings to protect us. It comes as no surprise then that when spiritual beings distort the natural world to communicate, it is vital that we begin to listen.
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In the Company of Diamonds
De Beers, Kleinzee, and the Control of a Town
Peter Carstens
Ohio University Press, 2001

After the 1925 discovery of diamonds in the semi-desert of the northwest coast of South Africa, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. virtually proclaimed its dominion over the whole region. In the town of Kleinzee, the company owns all the real estate and infrastructure, and controls and administers both the town and the industry.

Peter Carstens’s In the Company of Diamonds draws a stark and startling portrait of this closed community, one that analyzes the power and hegemonic techniques used to acquire that power and maintain it.

As a prototypical company town, Kleinzee is subordinated to the industry and will of the owners. Employees and workers are variously differentiated and ordered according to occupation, ethnic variation, and other social criteria, a pattern reflected most markedly in the allocation of housing. Managers live in large, ranch-style houses, while contract workers are lodged in single-sex compounds.

As a community type, company towns like Kleinzee are not entirely unique, and Professor Carstens successfully draws a number of structural parallels with other closed and incomplete social formations such as Indian reservations, military bases, colleges, prisons, and mental hospitals.

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In the Company of Generals
The World War I Diary of Pierpont L. Stackpole
Edited & Intro by Robert H. Ferrell
University of Missouri Press, 2009

Pierpont Stackpole was a Boston lawyer who in January 1918 became aide to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, soon to be commander of the first American corps in France. Stackpole’s diary, published here for the first time, is a major eyewitness account of the American Expeditionary Forces’ experience on the Western Front, offering an insider’s view into the workings of Liggett’s commands, his day-to-day business, and how he orchestrated his commands in trying and confusing situations.

Hunter Liggett did not fit John J. Pershing’s concept of the trim and energetic officer, but Pershing entrusted to him a corps and then an army command. Liggett assumed leadership of the U.S. First Army in mid-October of 1918, and after reorganizing, reinforcing, and resting, the battle-weary troops broke through the German lines in a fourth attack at the Meuse-Argonne—accomplishing what Pershing had failed to do in three previous attempts. The victory paved the way to armistice on November 11.

Liggett has long been a shadowy figure in the development of the American high command. He was “Old Army,” a veteran of Indian wars who nevertheless kept abreast of changes in warfare and more than other American officers was ready for the novelties of 1914–1918. Because few of his papers have survived, the diary of his aide—who rode in the general’s staff car as Liggett unburdened himself about fellow generals and their sometimes abysmal tactical notions—provides especially valuable insights into command within the AEF.

Stackpole’s diary also sheds light on other figures of the war, presenting a different view of the controversial Major General Clarence Edwards than has recently been recorded and relating the general staff’s attitudes about the flamboyant aviation figure Billy Mitchell. General Liggett built the American army in France, and the best measure of his achievement is this diary of his aide. That record stands here as a fascinating and authentic look at the Great War.

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In the Company of Grace
A Veterinarian's Memoir of Trauma and Healing
Jody Lulich
University of Minnesota Press, 2023

The son of a Black mother and white father overcomes family trauma to find the courage of compassion in veterinary practice

Rising to accept a prestigious award, Jody Lulich wondered what to say. Explain how he’d been attracted to veterinary medicine? Describe how caring for helpless, voiceless animals in his own shame and pain provided a lifeline, a chance to heal himself as well? Lulich tells his story in In the Company of Grace, a memoir about finding courage in compassion and strength in healing—and power in finally confronting the darkness of his youth.

Lulich’s white father and Black mother met at a civil rights rally, but love was no defense against their personal demons. His mother’s suicide, in his presence when he was nine years old, and his sometimes brutal father’s subsequent withdrawal set Lulich on a course from the South Side of Chicago to the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama to an endowed chair at the University of Minnesota, forever searching for the approval and affection that success could not deliver. Though shadowed by troubling secrets, his memoir also features scenes of surprising light and promise—of the neighbors who take him in, a brother’s unlikely effort to save Christmas, his mother’s memories of the family’s charmed early days, bright moments (and many curious details) of veterinary practice. Most consequentially, at Tuskegee Lulich rents a room in the home of a seventy-five-year-old Black woman named Grace, whose wholehearted adoption of him—and her own stories of the Jim Crow era—finally gives him a sense of belonging and possibility.

Completing his book amid the furor over George Floyd’s murder, Lulich reflects on all the ways that race has shaped his life. In the Company of Grace is a moving testament to the power of compassion in the face of seemingly overwhelming circumstances.

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In the Company of Radical Women Writers
Rosemary Hennessy
University of Minnesota Press, 2023

Recovering the bold voices and audacious lives of women who confronted capitalist society’s failures and injustices in the 1930s—a decade unnervingly similar to our own
 

In the Company of Radical Women Writers rediscovers the political commitments and passionate advocacy of seven writers—Black, Jewish, and white—who as young women turned to communism around the Great Depression and, over decades of national crisis, spoke to issues of labor, land, and love in ways that provide urgent, thought-provoking guidance for today. Rosemary Hennessy spotlights the courageous lives of women who confronted similar challenges to those we still face: exhausting and unfair labor practices, unrelenting racial injustice, and environmental devastation.

As Hennessy brilliantly shows, the documentary journalism and creative and biographical writings of Marvel Cooke, Louise Thompson Patterson, Claudia Jones, Alice Childress, Josephine Herbst, Meridel Le Sueur, and Muriel Rukeyser recognized that life is sustained across a web of dependencies that we each have a duty to maintain. Their work brought into sharp focus the value and dignity of Black women’s domestic work, confronted the destructive myths of land exploitation and white supremacy, and explored ways of knowing attuned to a life-giving erotic energy that spans bodies and relations. In doing so, they also expanded the scope of American communism.

By tracing the attention these seven women pay to “life-making” as the relations supporting survival and wellbeing—from Harlem to the American South and Midwest—In the Company of Radical Women Writers reveals their groundbreaking reconceptions of the political and provides bracing inspiration in the ongoing fight for justice.

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In the Company of Scholars
The Struggle for the Soul of Higher Education
By Julius G. Getman
University of Texas Press, 1992

"I began this book to articulate my sense of disappointment and alienation from the status I had fought so hard to achieve." A remarkable admission from an alumnus of Harvard Law School who has held tenured professorships in the law schools of Yale and Stanford and has taught in the law schools of Harvard and Chicago.

In this personal reflection on the status of higher education, Julius Getman probes the tensions between status and meaning, elitism and egalitarianism, that challenge the academy and academics today. He shows how higher education creates a shared intellectual community among people of varied races and classes—while simultaneously dividing people on the basis of education and status.

In the course of his explorations, Getman touches on many of the most current issues in higher education today, including the conflict between teaching and research, challenges to academic freedom, the struggle over multiculturalism, and the impact of minority and feminist activism. Getman presents these issues through relevant, often humorous anecdotes, using his own and others' experiences in coping with the constantly changing academic landscape.

Written from a liberal perspective, the book offers another side of the story told in such works as Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind and Roger Kimball's Tenured Radicals.

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Journey
The Gateway Theatre Building and Company, 1884-1965
Ian Brown
Intellect Books, 2013

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L. S. Ayres and Company
The Store at the Crossroads of America
Kenneth L. Turchi
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2012
In 1872 Lyman Ayres acquired a controlling interest in the Trade Place, a dry-goods store in Indianapolis. Two years later, he bought out his partners and renamed the establishment L. S. Ayres and Company. For the next century, Ayres was as much a part of Indianapolis as Monument Circle or the Indianapolis 500. Generations of midwestern families visited the vast store to shop, to see the animated Christmas windows, and, of course to visit Santa Claus and enjoy lunch in the Tea Room. But Ayres was more than just a department store. At its helm across three generations was a team of visionary retailers who took the store from its early silk-and-calico days to a diversified company with interests in specialty stores and discount stores (before Target and Wal-Mart). At the same time, Ayres never lost sight of its commitment to women’s fashion that gave the store the same cachet as its larger competitors in New York and Chicago.
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Misery and Company
Sympathy in Everyday Life
Candace Clark
University of Chicago Press, 1997
In a kind of social tour of sympathy, Candace Clark reveals that the emotional experience we call sympathy has a history, logic, and life of its own. Although sympathy may seem to be a natural, reflexive reaction, people are not born knowing when, for whom, and in what circumstances sympathy is appropriate. Rather, they learn elaborate, highly specific rules—different rules for men than for women—that guide when to feel or display sympathy, when to claim it, and how to accept it. Using extensive interviews, cultural artifacts, and "intensive eavesdropping" in public places, such as hospitals and funeral parlors, as well as analyzing charity appeals, blues lyrics, greeting cards, novels, and media reports, Clark shows that we learn culturally prescribed rules that govern our expression of sympathy.

"Clark's . . . research methods [are] inventive and her glimpses of U.S. life revealing. . . . And you have to love a social scientist so respectful of Miss Manners."—Clifford Orwin, Toronto Globe and Mail

"Clark offers a thought-provoking and quite interesting etiquette of sympathy according to which we ought to act in order to preserve the sympathy credits we can call on in time of need."—Virginia Quarterly Review
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Nancy Drew and Company
Culture, Gender, and Girls’ Series
Edited by Sherrie A. Inness
University of Wisconsin Press, 1997
This intriguing anthology brings together a broad range of critical essays on girls’ series fiction from established scholars such as Chamberlain, Johnson, and Romalov, along with emerging scholars Katrine Poe, Maureen Reed, and Deborah Siegel. Topics include: Anne of Green Gables, the Isabel Carleton series, early twentieth-century girls’ automobile series, girls’ scouting novels, 1910–1935, Cherry Ames in World War II, Nancy Drew, and Judy Bolton.
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Orpheus and Company
Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology
Edited by Deborah De Nicola
Brandeis University Press, 1999
This collection offers myriad fresh, and often dazzling, interpretations of Greek myths at a time of renewed excitement about the role of myths and other archetypes in our culture, and about the spiritual themes which many of the poems suggest. The range is broad, from celebrated authors such as Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, and Stephen Dobyns, to such respected emerging poets as Diann Blakely, Reginald Shepard, Mary Jo Bang, and Carl Phillips.
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