Buero-Vallejo's emblematic first play, Story of a Stairway (1949), chronicling decades in the lives of struggling Madrid families, catapulted the young author into prominence. Appearing here for the first time in English, Before Dawn (1953) is a whodunit and the riveting odyssey of one woman 's search for truth that recalls Greek tragedy. The Basement Window (1967), an Orwellian science-fiction experiment, portrays the moral climate of the late twentieth century as judged by ethically enlightened researchers of a distant future. In the first English translation of the author's poignantly relevant final play, Mission to the Deserted Village (1999), a wartime attempt to save an El Greco painting raises questions about how much of its own treasure a culture will destroy to keep it out of enemy hands.
Readers who know Buero-Vallejo's plays will celebrate O'Connor 's sparkling translations. Those who haven't yet read Buero-Vallejo will find a very moving introduction in this collection.
An unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the Manhattan Project.
After his father died, James L. Nolan, Jr., took possession of a box of private family materials. To his surprise, the small secret archive contained a treasure trove of information about his grandfather’s role as a doctor in the Manhattan Project. Dr. Nolan, it turned out, had been a significant figure. A talented ob-gyn radiologist, he cared for the scientists on the project, organized safety and evacuation plans for the Trinity test at Alamogordo, escorted the “Little Boy” bomb from Los Alamos to the Pacific Islands, and was one of the first Americans to enter the irradiated ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Participation on the project challenged Dr. Nolan’s instincts as a healer. He and his medical colleagues were often conflicted, torn between their duty and desire to win the war and their oaths to protect life. Atomic Doctors follows these physicians as they sought to maximize the health and safety of those exposed to nuclear radiation, all the while serving leaders determined to minimize delays and maintain secrecy. Called upon both to guard against the harmful effects of radiation and to downplay its hazards, doctors struggled with the ethics of ending the deadliest of all wars using the most lethal of all weapons. Their work became a very human drama of ideals, co-optation, and complicity.
A vital and vivid account of a largely unknown chapter in atomic history, Atomic Doctors is a profound meditation on the moral dilemmas that ordinary people face in extraordinary times.
The Conscience of the Court celebrates the work of Justice William J. Brennan Jr., who served on the United States Supreme Court for thirty-four years (1956–1990).
Stephen L. Sepinuck and Mary Pat Treuthart introduce and present selected judicial opinions written by Justice Brennan on issues involving personal freedom, civil liberties, and equality. Brennan is ranked by many as the best writer ever to have served on the Supreme Court, and his written opinions depict real people, often in desperate, emotional situations. Remarkable for their clarity of analysis, for their eloquence, and for their forcefulness and persuasiveness, his opinions demonstrate that judicial thought need not be a proprietary enclave of lawyers or the intellectual elite.
The extended excerpts selected by Sepinuck and Treuthart highlight Brennan's approach to judicial decision making. Concerned always with how each decision would actually affect people's lives, Brennan possessed a rare quality of empathy. In Brennan, the editors note, "people and groups who lacked influence in society—Communists and flag burners, children and foreigners, criminal defendants and racial minorities"—found a champion they could count on "to listen to their causes and judge them unmoved by the passions of the politically powerful."
In their introduction to each opinion, the editors provide background facts, discuss how the excerpted opinion transformed the law or otherwise fit into the realm of constitutional jurisprudence, and delve into Justice Brennan's judicial philosophy, his method of constitutional interpretation, and the language he used.
In 1982, a century after the laying of the cornerstone of its first building, the University of Texas was ranked by the New York Times among the best in the nation. No one had more to do with that extraordinary achievement than Harry Huntt Ransom. From 1935 to his death in 1976, he served the University in positions ranging from instructor in English to chancellor of The University of Texas System. In the fifties, sixties, and seventies, he held a succession of administrative posts requiring him to face a myriad of perplexing problems. Among the critical issues calling for analysis and decision in those years were the post-Sputnik pressure for greater emphasis on science and technology, the student revolts during the 1960s, and the defection of growing numbers of university faculty to industry and government.
Harry Huntt Ransom did not merely respond to the problems of the times. He had his own large ambitions for the University of Texas, in particular the improvement of student programs, the development of a vigorous faculty, and—the achievement for which he is best remembered—the building of a world-renowned library.
He was concerned with the role of the university in society, what the university should do and do well, and what it should not do. Always he viewed these matters in broad perspective, and his approach to them was far-sighted and deeply philosophical.
As dean, vice-president, president, and chancellor, Ransom wrote and spoke often on these and other important subjects. Aside from the books that he wrote and edited, he left a prodigious amount of material, some of which had been published in various journals and some of which had been delivered as lectures and addresses and never made available in printed form.
For the last twenty-five years of Ransom's life his wife, Hazel, was his closest companion and confidant. At the urging of Harry's friends, colleagues, and admirers, she undertook the task of sifting through her late husband's papers in an effort to organize and preserve some of the important contributions he had made to the thought and planning that were so instrumental in shaping the University of Texas and higher education in general. In these essays we see the force of reasoning and grace of style for which Ransom was so widely admired. It was he who reminded us that books last longer than buildings. This is a book of lasting importance that Harry Ransom himself might have given us had he lived longer.
In 1989, The National Museum of the American Indian Act (NMAIA) was successfully passed after a long and intense struggle. One year later, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) followed. These federal repatriation statutes—arguably some of the most important laws in the history of anthropology, museology, and American Indian rights—enabled Native Americans to reclaim human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.
Twenty years later, the controversy instigated by the creation of NMAIA and NAGPRA continues to simmer. In the Smaller Scope of Conscience is a thoughtful and detailed study of the ins and outs of the four-year process behind these laws. It is a singular contribution to the history of these issues, with the potential to help mediate the ongoing debate by encouraging all sides to retrace the steps of the legislators responsible for the acts.
Few works are as detailed as McKeown’s account, which looks into bills that came prior to NMAIA and NAGPRA and combs the legislative history for relevant reports and correspondence. Testimonies, documents, and interviews from the primary players of this legislative process are cited to offer insights into the drafting and political processes that shaped NMAIA and NAGPRA.
Above all else, this landmark work distinguishes itself from earlier legislative histories with the quality of its analysis. Invested and yet evenhanded in his narrative, McKeown ensures that this journey through history—through the strategies and struggles of different actors to effect change through federal legislation—is not only accurate but eminently intriguing.
The story of Czech theatre in the twentieth century involves generations of mesmerizing players and memorable productions. Beyond these artistic considerations, however, lies a larger story: a theatre that has resonated with the intense concerns of its audiences acquires a significance and a force beyond anything created by striking individual talents or random stage hits. Amid the variety of performances during the past hundred years, that basic and provocative reality has been repeatedly demonstrated, as Jarka Burian reveals in his extraordinary history of the dramatic world of Czech theatre.
Following a brief historical background, Burian provides a chronological series of perspectives and observations on the evolving nature of Czech theatre productions during this century in relation to their similarly evolving social and political contexts. Once Czechoslovak independence was achieved in 1918, a repeated interplay of theatre with political realities became the norm, sometimes stifling the creative urge but often producing even greater artistry. When playwright Václav Havel became president in 1990, this was but the latest and most celebrated example of the vital engagement between stage and society that has been a repeated condition of Czech theatre for the past two hundred years. In Jarka Burian's skillful hands, Modern Czech Theatre becomes an extremely important touchstone for understanding the history of modern theatre within western culture.
Based on decades of research, A Privilege of Intellect is D. A. Drennen’s portrait of the English cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–90), whose conversion to the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 significantly boosted the presence of the Catholic Church in England and caused many Anglicans to follow his example. Newman—who will be beatified this fall—devoted his life both to the Church and to the university, demonstrating that religious faith and intellectual pursuits could exist in harmony. Drennen’s biography combines theology with psychology and philosophy and will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church’s claims to spiritual and temporal authority rest on Jesus’ promise in the gospels to give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. In the sixteenth century, leaders of the German Reformation sought a fundamental transformation of this “power of the keys” as part of their efforts to rid Church and society of alleged clerical abuses. Central to this transformation was a thoroughgoing reform of private confession.
Unlike other Protestants, Lutherans chose not to abolish private confession but to change it to suit their theological convictions and social needs. In a fascinating examination of this new religious practice, Ronald Rittgers traces the development of Lutheran private confession, demonstrating how it consistently balanced competing concerns for spiritual freedom and moral discipline. The reformation of private confession was part of a much larger reformation of the power of the keys that had profound implications for the use of religious authority in sixteenth-century Germany.
As the first full-length study of the role of Lutheran private confession in the German Reformation, this book is a welcome contribution to early modern European and religious history.
“The strength of Empire,” wrote Ben Jonson, “is in religion.” In Reforming Empire, Christopher Hodgkins takes Jonson’s dictum as his point of departure, showing how for more than four centuries the Protestant imagination gave the British Empire its main paradigms for dominion and also, ironically, its chief languages of anti-imperial dissent. From Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene to Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” English literature about empire has turned with strange constancy to themes of worship and idolatry, atrocity and deliverance, slavery and service, conversion, prophecy, apostasy, and doom.
Focusing on the work of the Protestant imagination from the Renaissance origins of English overseas colonization through the modern end of England’s colonial enterprise, Hodgkins organizes his study around three kinds of religious binding—unification, subjugation, and self-restraint. He shows how early modern Protestants like Hakluyt and Spenser reformed the Arthurian chronicles and claimed to inherit Rome’s empire from the Caesars: how Ralegh and later Cromwell imagined a counterconquest of Spanish America, and how Milton’s Satan came to resemble Cortés; how Drake and the fictional Crusoe established their status as worthy colonial masters by refusing to be worshiped as gods; and how seventeenth-century preachers, poets, and colonists moved haltingly toward a racist metaphysics—as Virginia began by celebrating the mixed marriage of Pocahontas but soon imposed the draconian separation of the Color Line.
Yet Hodgkins reveals that Tudor-Stuart times also saw the revival of Augustinian anti-expansionism and the genesis of Protestant imperial guilt. From the start, British Protestant colonialism contained its own opposite: a religion of self-restraint. Though this conscience often was co-opted or conscripted to legitimize conquests and pacify the conquered, it frequently found memorable and even fierce literary expression in writers such as Shakespeare, Daniel, Herbert, Swift, Johnson, Burke, Blake, Austen, Browning, Tennyson, Conrad, Forster, and finally the anti-Protestant Waugh. Written in a lively and accessible style, Reforming Empire will be of interest to all scholars and students of English literature.
Secularism: the definition of this word is as practical and urgent as income inequalities or the paths to sustainable development. In this wide-ranging analysis, Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor provide a clearly reasoned, articulate account of the two main principles of secularism—equal respect, and freedom of conscience—and its two operative modes—separation of Church (or mosque or temple) and State, and State neutrality vis-à-vis religions. But more crucially, they make the powerful argument that in our ever more religiously diverse, politically interconnected world, secularism, properly understood, may offer the only path to religious and philosophical freedom.
Secularism and Freedom of Conscience grew out of a very real problem—Quebec’s need for guidelines to balance the equal respect due to all citizens with the right to religious freedom. But the authors go further, rethinking secularism in light of other critical issues of our time. The relationship between religious beliefs and deeply-held secular convictions, the scope of the free exercise of religion, and the place of religion in the public sphere are aspects of the larger challenge Maclure and Taylor address: how to manage moral and religious diversity in a free society. Secularism, they show, is essential to any liberal democracy in which citizens adhere to a plurality of conceptions of what gives meaning and direction to human life. The working model the authors construct in this nuanced account is capacious enough to accommodate difference and freedom of conscience, while holding out hope for a world in which diversity no longer divides us.
Praised by his admirers as "one of those rare heroic figures out of Plutarch" and as "an intrepid Don Quixote," Brazilian lawyer Heráclito Fontoura Sobral Pinto (1893-1991) was the most consistently forceful opponent of dictator Getúlio Vargas. Through legal cases, activism in Catholic and lawyers' associations, newspaper polemics, and a voluminous correspondence, Sobral Pinto fought for democracy, morality, and justice, particularly for the downtrodden.
This book is the first of a projected two-volume biography of Sobral Pinto. Drawing on Sobral's vast correspondence, which was not previously available to researchers, John W. F. Dulles confirms that Sobral Pinto was a true reformer, who had no equal in demonstrating courage and vehemence when facing judges, tribunals, and men in power. He traces the leading role that Sobral played in opposing the Vargas regime from 1930 to 1945 and sheds light on the personalities and activities of powerful figures in the National Security Tribunal, the police, the censorship bureau, and the Catholic Church.
In addition to the many details that this volume adds to Brazilian history, it illuminates the character of a man who sacrificed professional advancement and emolument in the interest of fighting for justice and charity. Thus, it will be important reading not only for students of Brazilian history, but also for a wider audience dedicated to the crusade for human rights and political freedom and the reformers who carry on that struggle.
Like the Bouthilliers, the Colberts, the Fouquets, and the Letelliers, the Arnauld family rose to prominence at the end of the sixteenth century by attaching themselves to the king. Their power and influence depended upon absolute loyalty and obedience to the sovereign whose own power they sought to enhance. Dictates of conscience, however, brought all that to an end and put them in conflict with both king and pope. As a result of the religious conversion of Angélique Arnauld early in the seventeenth century, the family eventually adopted a set of religious principles that appeared Calvinist to some ecclesiastical authorities. These "Jansenist" principles were condemned by the papacy and Louis XIV.
The travails of conscience experienced by the Arnauld family, and the resulting religious schism that separated different branches, divided husbands from wives and parents from children. However, neither the historic achievements of individual family members nor the differences of opinion between them could obscure the sense of family solidarity.
The dramatic appeal of this book is underscored by a tumultuous period in French history which coincides with and punctuates the Arnauld family's struggle with the world. We see how this extraordinary family reacted to momentous political and religious developments, as well as the ways in which individual members, by means of their own convictions, helped shape the history of their time.
While most philosophers who write about punishment ask, "Why may we punish the guilty?" Jacob Adler asks, "To what extent does a guilty person have a duty to submit to punishment?" He maintains that if we are to justify any system of punishment by the state, we must explain why persons guilty of an offense are morally bound to submit to punitive treatment, or to undertake it on their own. Using Rawls's theory of social contract as a framework, the author presents what he calls the rectification theory of punishment.
After examining punishment from two points of view—that of the punisher and that of the offender who is to be punished—Adler proposes the Paradigm of the Conscientious Punishee: a repentant wrongdoer who views punishment as not necessarily unpleasant, but as something it is morally incumbent upon one to undertake. The author argues that this paradigm must play a central role in the theory of punishment. Citing community service projects and penances for sin (as required by some religions), Adler argues that punishment need not involve pain or any other disvalue. Instead he defines it in terms of its justificatiory connection with wrongdoing: punishment is that which is justified by the prior commission of an offense and generally not justified without the prior commission of an offense.
The rectification theory applies particularly to offenses involving basic liberties. It is based on the assumption that each person is guaranteed the right to an inviolable sphere of liberty. Someone who commits an offense has expanded his or her sphere by arrogating excess liberties. In order to maintain the equality on which this theory rests, an equivalent body of liberties must be given up. In discussing applications of the theory, Adler demonstrates that active service (as punishment) is more effective in safeguarding important rights and interests and maintaining the social contract than is afflictive punishment.
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