This book chronicles the history of All American Aviation of western Pennsylvania, a commercial airline pioneer. The brainchild of self-styled inventor Dr. Lytle S. Adams and Richard C. du Pont, the company began as an airmail delivery carrier, taking advantage of the Experimental Air Mail Act passed by Congress in 1938. The Airway to Everywhere relates the exciting early days of airmail delivery—hair-raising tales of courageous pilots who scooped mail bags tethered to wires strung between poles on makeshift airfields. The story of this airline is placed within the context a typical twentieth-century American business pattern-where technological innovation is followed by development and commercial application, followed by government subsidies and corporate takeovers. In that vein, All American Aviation would become Allegheny Airlines, and later, U.S. Air.
In 1939, as war loomed, Peter Gumbel’s Jewish-born grandparents fled Nazi Germany for England. But within a matter of decades, their grandson, appalled by the Brexit referendum, had become a citizen of the country they fled eighty years ago. How had it come to this?
Drawing on one family’s migration stories, Citizens of Everywhere explores the nature of belonging amid cycles of pluralism and nationalism. In an increasingly global world, nativist and diasporic impulses pull many people in contradictory directions that can be difficult to even understand. In Citizens of Everywhere, Gumbel grapples with this complexity through his own family history, revealing the personal costs of Britain’s recent isolationist retreat. Along the way, he laments the decline of British pluralism at the worst possible moment—as it rejects the European project and engages in an ill-fated struggle against an ever more interconnected world.
A fascinating analysis of anonymous publication centuries before the digital age
Everywhere and Nowhere considers the ubiquity of anonymity and mediation in the publication and circulation of eighteenth-century British literature—before the Romantic creation of the “author”—and what this means for literary criticism. Anonymous authorship was typical of the time, yet literary scholars and historians have been generally unable to account for it as anything more than a footnote or curiosity.
Mark Vareschi shows the entangled relationship between mediation and anonymity, revealing the nonhuman agency of the printed text. Drawing richly on quantitative analysis and robust archival work, Vareschi brings together philosophy, literary theory, and media theory in a trenchant analysis, uncovering a history of textual engagement and interpretation that does not hinge on the known authorial subject.
In discussing anonymous poetry, drama, and the novel along with anonymously published writers such as Daniel Defoe, Frances Burney, and Walter Scott, he unveils a theory of mediation that renews broader questions about agency and intention. Vareschi argues that textual intentionality is a property of nonhuman, material media rather than human subjects alone, allowing the anonymous literature of the eighteenth century to speak to contemporary questions of meaning in the philosophy of language. Vareschi closes by exploring dubious claims about the death of anonymity and the reexplosion of anonymity with the coming of the digital. Ultimately, Everywhere and Nowhere reveals the long history of print anonymity so central to the risks and benefits of the digital culture.
American popular culture is everywhere. All over the world, kids wear Levis, radios blare rap songs, television stations broadcast American programs, and Hollywood movies draw huge audiences. Does this massive "Americanization" of the globe represent some sinister form of cultural imperialism? Alternatively, do audiences and consumers in the importing countries accept American movies, music, and television programs because they match local trends and desires? Do receiving communities transform these products to fit their own needs, to the point where they are no longer "American" but in fact have become indigenous? And who is in charge of all of this, anyway? Is it Wall Street, Madison Avenue, the Pentagon, the CIA, or Hollywood? Is it, at least partly, local economic and political elites in the receiving countries? Or is it simply "the people," nationalities be damned? These are the questions at the heart of the essays collected in "Here, There and Everywhere." Essays by 23 authors from 14 countries cover topics from Japan to Spain, Nigeria to Russia, and from West Germany to East Germany (a distance that seemed to be further than travelling to the moon, yet was covered by rock 'n' roll most easily, despite the wall). In five sections, they examine the historical background, the impact of Hollywood, the power of American popular music from jazz to rock 'n' roll and rap, and the popularity of as well as resistance to American popular culture in particular countries.
For as long as humans have gathered in cities, those cities have had their shining—or shadowy—counterparts. Imaginary cities, potential cities, future cities, perfect cities. It is as if the city itself, its inescapable gritty reality and elbow-to-elbow nature, demands we call into being some alternative, yearned-for better place.
This book is about those cities. It’s neither a history of grand plans nor a literary exploration of the utopian impulse, but rather something different, hybrid, idiosyncratic. It’s a magpie’s book, full of characters and incidents and ideas drawn from cities real and imagined around the globe and throughout history. Thomas More’s allegorical island shares space with Soviet mega-planning; Marco Polo links up with James Joyce’s meticulously imagined Dublin; the medieval land of Cockaigne meets the hopeful future of Star Trek. With Darran Anderson as our guide, we find common themes and recurring dreams, tied to the seemingly ineluctable problems of our actual cities, of poverty and exclusion and waste and destruction. And that’s where Imaginary Cities becomes more than a mere—if ecstatically entertaining—intellectual exercise: for, as Anderson says, “If a city can be imagined into being, it can be re-imagined.” Every architect, philosopher, artist, writer, planner, or citizen who dreams up an imaginary city offers lessons for our real ones; harnessing those flights of hopeful fancy can help us improve the streets where we live.
Though it shares DNA with books as disparate as Calvino’s Invisible Cities and Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities, there’s no other book quite like Imaginary Cities. After reading it, you’ll walk the streets of your city—real or imagined—with fresh eyes.
Born in Tuscany in 1304, Italian poet Francesco Petrarca is widely considered one of the fathers of the modern Italian language. Though his writings inspired the humanist movement and subsequently the Renaissance, Petrarch remains misunderstood. He was a man of contradictions—a Roman pagan devotee and a devout Christian, a lover of friendship and sociability, yet intensely private.
In this biography, Christopher S. Celenza revisits Petrarch’s life and work for the first time in decades, considering how the scholar’s reputation and identity have changed since his death in 1374. He brings to light Petrarch’s unrequited love for his poetic muse, the anti-institutional attitude he developed as he sought a path to modernity by looking backward to antiquity, and his endless focus on himself. Drawing on both Petrarch’s Italian and Latin writings, this is a revealing portrait of a figure of paradoxes: a man of mystique, historical importance, and endless fascination. It is the only book on Petrarch suitable for students, general readers, and scholars alike.