This timely examination of Alabama’s severely criticized state constitution will serve as an indispensable guide for legislators and citizens considering reform of the outdated document.
Alabama’s present constitution, adopted in 1901, is widely viewed as the source of many, if not most, of the state’s historic difficulties and inequities. Chief among these is a poorly funded school system, an imbalanced tax system that favors special business interests, legislated racism, and unchecked urban sprawl. Many citizens believe that, after 100 years of overburdening amendments and confusing addendums, the constitution urgently needs rewriting.
With this book, Bailey Thomson has assembled the best scholarship on the constitution, its history, and its implications for the future. Historian Harvey H. Jackson III details the degree to which the 1901 document was drafted as a legal tool to ensure white supremacy at the expense of poor whites and blacks, while Joe A. Sumners illustrates how the constitution ties the hands of elected civic leaders by handing authority for local decisions to state government in Montgomery. James W. Williams Jr. explores the impact of the state constitution on the beleaguered tax system and the three principal “revenue crises” it has engendered. Thomson’s own contribution explains how, in contrast to the previous failed attempts for constitutional change by past governors who appealed to their fellow power brokers, the current reform movement arose from the grassroots level.
As citizens and politicians in Alabama review the 1901 constitution for revision, as they navigate the pitfalls and opportunities inherent in change, it is incumbent that they inform themselves adequately on the controversies that have swirled around the constitution since its adoption. The future of Alabama’s government will depend upon it, as will the fortunes of Alabama’s business interests and the well-being of every citizen in the state for years to come.
Women's breasts have been idealized as symbols of femininity and motherhood. They have held great social and psychological significance as objects drawing intrusive gazes, and as images of self worth to be measured against an idealized form. It is no wonder, then, that a technology emerged to alter and "enhance" their appearance. Nora Jacobson traces the hundred-year history of one such technology: breast implants.
Organized both chronologically and thematically, this book examines the history of breast implant technology from 1895 to 1990, including the controversies that erupted in the early 1990s over the safety of the devices and the Food and Drug Administration's regulation of their use. Jacobson examines such topics as politics and bias in medical practice and the role of bureaucracies, corporations, and governments in establishing policy and regulating implant technology.
Many studies have shown that images—their presence in the daily lives of the faithful, the means used to control them, and their adaptation to secular uses—were at the heart of the Reformation crisis in northern Europe. But the question as it affects the art of Italy has been raised only in highly specialized studies.
In this book, Alexander Nagel provides the first truly synthetic study of the controversies over religious images that pervaded Italian life both before and parallel to the Reformation north of the Alps. Tracing the intertwined relationship of artistic innovation and archaism, as well as the new pressures placed on the artistic media in the midst of key developments in religious iconography, The Controversy of Renaissance Art offers an important and original history of humanist thought and artistic experimentation from one of our most acclaimed historians of art.
The cross stirs intense feelings among Christians and non-Christians alike. Robin Jensen takes readers on an intellectual and spiritual journey through the 2,000-year evolution of the cross as idea and artifact, illuminating the controversies and forms of devotion this central symbol of Christianity inspires.
When DNA profiling was first introduced into the American legal system in 1987, it was heralded as a technology that would revolutionize law enforcement. As an investigative tool, it has lived up to much of this hype—it is regularly used to track down unknown criminals, put murderers and rapists behind bars, and exonerate the innocent.
Yet, this promise took ten turbulent years to be fulfilled. In Genetic Witness, Jay D. Aronson uncovers the dramatic early history of DNA profiling that has been obscured by the technique’s recent success. He demonstrates that robust quality control and quality assurance measures were initially nonexistent, interpretation of test results was based more on assumption than empirical evidence, and the technique was susceptible to error at every stage. Most of these issues came to light only through defense challenges to what prosecutors claimed to be an infallible technology. Although this process was fraught with controversy, inefficiency, and personal antagonism, the quality of DNA evidence improved dramatically as a result. Aronson argues, however, that the dream of a perfect identification technology remains unrealized.
Behavior genetics has always been a breeding ground for controversies. From the “criminal chromosome” to the “gay gene,” claims about the influence of genes like these have led to often vitriolic national debates about race, class, and inequality. Many behavior geneticists have encountered accusations of racism and have had their scientific authority and credibility questioned, ruining reputations, and threatening their access to coveted resources.
In Misbehaving Science, Aaron Panofsky traces the field of behavior genetics back to its origins in the 1950s, telling the story through close looks at five major controversies. In the process, Panofsky argues that persistent, ungovernable controversy in behavior genetics is due to the broken hierarchies within the field. All authority and scientific norms are questioned, while the absence of unanimously accepted methods and theories leaves a foundationless field, where disorder is ongoing. Critics charge behavior geneticists with political motivations; champions say they merely follow the data where they lead. But Panofsky shows how pragmatic coping with repeated controversies drives their scientific actions. Ironically, behavior geneticists’ struggles for scientific authority and efforts to deal with the threats to their legitimacy and autonomy have made controversy inevitable—and in some ways essential—to the study of behavior genetics.
The subject of historic struggle and contemporary dispute, public lands in the United States are treasured spaces. In Public Lands, Public Debates, environmental historian Char Miller explores the history of conservation thinking and the development of a government agency with stewardship at its mission.
Owned in common, our national forests, monuments, parks, and preserves are funded through federal tax receipts, making these public lands national in scope and significance. Their controversial histories demonstrate their vulnerability to shifting tides of public opinion, alterations in fiscal support, and overlapping authorities for their management—including federal, state, and local mandates, as well as critical tribal prerogatives and military claims.
Miller takes the Forest Service as a gauge of the broader debates in which Americans have engaged since the late nineteenth century. In nineteen essays,he examines critical moments of public and private negotiation to help explain the particular, and occasionally peculiar, tensions that have shaped the administration of public lands in the United States.
“Watching democracy at work can be bewildering, even frustrating, but the only way individuals and organizations can sift through the often messy business of public deliberation is to deliberate...”
Who would think that Monday morning's page-turning sports scores could be trumped by Sex on Tuesday? But, during the last decade or so, college newspaper sex columns and campus sex magazines have revolutionized student journalism and helped define a new sexual generation. They are the ultimate authorities on student social interaction, relationships, and sex at a time when sexual activity, sexual dangers, and sexual ignorance are prevalent and sex has become the wallpaper of students' lives.
Daniel Reimold gives readers of all generations an inside look at this phenomenon. Student sex columnists and sex magazine editors are both celebrities on their home campuses. One columnist, echoing the sentiments of many, said he became an overnight rock star golden child of journalism. But, with celebrity comes controversy. These columns and magazines have sparked contentious and far-reaching legal, religious, and intergenerational debates about sex, the student press, and the place of both within higher education. They are also the most prominent modern student press combatants in the fight for free speech. And they have blurred journalistic boundaries between what is considered public and private, art and pornography, and gossip and news.
Sex and the University explores the celebrity status that student sex columnists and magazine editors have received, the controversies they have caused, and the sexual generation and student journalism revolution they represent. Complete with a sexicon of slang, this book also dives into the columns and magazines themselves, sharing for the first time what modern students are saying about their sex and love lives, in their own words.