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After The Fire
A Writer Finds His Place
Paul Zimmer
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

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After the Fire
The Destruction of the Lancaster County Amish
Randy-Michael Testa
Brandeis University Press, 1992
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is best known for its abundantly productive farmland and for the Amish and other “Plain People” who have made their home there since colonial times. Now both of these unique features are in danger of being permanently destroyed. “The Garden Spot of America” loses more than 20 acres of farmland every day to accelerated development. And the Amish, with a population that has doubled in the past 20 years and little land left to farm, tired of living in a fish-bowl for five million tourists a year, and frustrated by changing regulations, are moving out. They are going to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana -- anywhere to get away from “Amish Country.” Randy Testa initially traveled to Lancaster County in the summer of 1988 to research his dissertation, never intending to become involved personally in county affairs. But living with an Amish family that summer he saw firsthand the trials they faced: constant streams of gawking tourists, the daily paving-over of rich farmland, and the greed and complicity of local officials. Realizing that the quiet, nonresistant Amish would not fight against these destructive influences, Testa felt called to speak out on their behalf. Thus began the continuing moral journey that is at the heart of After the Fire. It is a story of family and farming, community and faith, morality as practiced by the Amish in daily life. And, ultimately, it is about our own world, for as Testa writes, we must look to the Amish to “point out how far we have strayed.” The book is illustrated with 20 charcoal drawings by Amish artist Susie Riehl. The drawings are as understated as the Amish themselves, simple yet striking sketches from within a threatened world. In this final decade of the twentieth century, a life-and-death struggle is being played out in Lancaster County: between land speculation and land stewardship, between material wealth and moral worth, between unrestrained growth and “the ties that bind.” The Amish are at the center of the conflict, trying to maintain their unique community in the face of increasing encroachment from the outside. Randy Testa stands as a witness to their struggle, telling “the story of a people on the verge of conflagration.”
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Alchemy Tried in the Fire
Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry
William R. Newman and Lawrence M. Principe
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society.
 
What actually took place in the private laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets of Nature? What instruments and theoretical principles did he employ?

Using, as their guide, the previously misunderstood interactions between Robert Boyle, widely known as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the most prominent American scientific writer before Benjamin Franklin as their guide, Newman and Principe reveal the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a famous alchemist and argue that many of the principles and practices characteristic of modern chemistry derive from alchemy. By analyzing Starkey's extraordinary laboratory notebooks, the authors show how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of traditional alchemy into quantitative, carefully reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his own work in allegorical, secretive treatises under the name of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The intriguing "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favorite of Starkey, Boyle, and even of Lavoisier—emerges from this study as a surprisingly central figure in seventeenth-century "chymistry." A common emphasis on quantification, material production, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of goals and practices from late medieval alchemy down to and beyond the Chemical Revolution.

For anyone who wants to understand how alchemy was actually practiced during the Scientific Revolution and what it contributed to the development of modern chemistry, Alchemy Tried in the Fire will be a veritable philosopher's stone.
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Architecture and Fire
A Psychoanalytic Approach to Conservation
Stamatis Zografos
University College London, 2019
Fire is at the center of human civilization. The first primitive hut was built around fire, deeply imprinting it on the collective memory of architecture. As we reassess architectural conservation, we would therefore do well to explore the intimate relationship between architecture and fire.

Founded in inventive interdisciplinary research that ranges across architecture and conservation, archival theory, classical mythology, evolutionary theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, Architecture and Fire draws on the insights of psychoanalysis to offer such a reassessment. Among the topics discussed are the ambivalent nature of fire, seen through the conflicting philosophies of Gaston Bachelard and Henri Bergson; the ways in which architecture evolves by absorbing and accommodating fire; and the destruction of buildings by fire as a critical moment of architectural evolution, with a focus on the tragic disaster at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017. Stamatis Zografos concludes with thoughts on Freud’s drive theory. He argues that the practice of architectural conservation is an expression of the life drive and a simultaneous repression of the death drive, which suggests controlled destruction should be an integral part of the conservation agenda.
 
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Art in Chicago
A History from the Fire to Now
Edited by Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino
University of Chicago Press, 2018
For decades now, the story of art in America has been dominated by New York. It gets the majority of attention, the stories of its schools and movements and masterpieces the stuff of pop culture legend. Chicago, on the other hand . . . well, people here just get on with the work of making art.
 
Now that art is getting its due. Art in Chicago is a magisterial account of the long history of Chicago art, from the rupture of the Great Fire in 1871 to the present, Manierre Dawson, László Moholy-Nagy, and Ivan Albright to Chris Ware, Anne Wilson, and Theaster Gates. The first single-volume history of art and artists in Chicago, the book—in recognition of the complexity of the story it tells—doesn’t follow a single continuous trajectory. Rather, it presents an overlapping sequence of interrelated narratives that together tell a full and nuanced, yet wholly accessible history of visual art in the city. From the temptingly blank canvas left by the Fire, we loop back to the 1830s and on up through the 1860s, tracing the beginnings of the city’s institutional and professional art world and community. From there, we travel in chronological order through the decades to the present. Familiar developments—such as the founding of the Art Institute, the Armory Show, and the arrival of the Bauhaus—are given a fresh look, while less well-known aspects of the story, like the contributions of African American artists dating back to the 1860s or the long history of activist art, finally get suitable recognition. The six chapters, each written by an expert in the period, brilliantly mix narrative and image, weaving in oral histories from artists and critics reflecting on their work in the city, and setting new movements and key works in historical context. The final chapter, comprised of interviews and conversations with contemporary artists, brings the story up to the present, offering a look at the vibrant art being created in the city now and addressing ongoing debates about what it means to identify as—or resist identifying as—a Chicago artist today. The result is an unprecedentedly inclusive and rich tapestry, one that reveals Chicago art in all its variety and vigor—and one that will surprise and enlighten even the most dedicated fan of the city’s artistic heritage.
 
Part of the Terra Foundation for American Art’s year-long Art Design Chicago initiative, which will bring major arts events to venues throughout Chicago in 2018, Art in Chicago is a landmark publication, a book that will be the standard account of Chicago art for decades to come. No art fan—regardless of their city—will want to miss it.
 
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Asbestos and Fire
Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk
Maines, Rachel
Rutgers University Press, 2013

For much of the industrial era, asbestos was a widely acclaimed benchmark material. During its heyday, it was manufactured into nearly three thousand different products, most of which protected life and property from heat, flame, and electricity. It was used in virtually every industry from hotel keeping to military technology to chemical manufacturing, and was integral to building construction from shacks to skyscrapers in every community across the United States. Beginning in the mid-1960s, however, this once popular mineral began a rapid fall from grace as growing attention to the serious health risks associated with it began to overshadow the protections and benefits it provided.

In this thought-provoking and controversial book, Rachel Maines challenges the recent vilification of asbestos by providing a historical perspective on Americans’ changing perceptions about risk. She suggests that the very success of asbestos and other fire-prevention technologies in containing deadly blazes has led to a sort of historical amnesia about the very risks they were supposed to reduce. 

Asbestos and Fire
is not only the most thoroughly researched and balanced look at the history of asbestos, it is also an important contribution to a larger debate that considers how the risks of technological solutions should be evaluated.  As technology offers us ever-increasing opportunities to protect and prevent, Maines urges that learning to accept and effectively address the unintended consequences of technological innovations is a growing part of our collective responsibility.

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Asbestos and Fire
Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk
Maines, Rachel
Rutgers University Press, 2005

For much of the industrial era, asbestos was a widely acclaimed benchmark material. During its heyday, it was manufactured into nearly three thousand different products, most of which protected life and property from heat, flame, and electricity. It was used in virtually every industry from hotel keeping to military technology to chemical manufacturing, and was integral to building construction from shacks to skyscrapers in every community across the United States. Beginning in the mid-1960s, however, this once popular mineral began a rapid fall from grace as growing attention to the serious health risks associated with it began to overshadow the protections and benefits it provided.

In this thought-provoking and controversial book, Rachel Maines challenges the recent vilification of asbestos by providing a historical perspective on Americans’ changing perceptions about risk. She suggests that the very success of asbestos and other fire-prevention technologies in containing deadly blazes has led to a sort of historical amnesia about the very risks they were supposed to reduce. 

Asbestos and Fire
is not only the most thoroughly researched and balanced look at the history of asbestos, it is also an important contribution to a larger debate that considers how the risks of technological solutions should be evaluated.  As technology offers us ever-increasing opportunities to protect and prevent, Maines urges that learning to accept and effectively address the unintended consequences of technological innovations is a growing part of our collective responsibility.

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Before Grenfell
Fire, Safety and Deregulation in Twentieth-Century Britain
Shane Ewen
University of London Press, 2023
An account of the systemic failures that led to the Grenfell tower fire.

The 2017 Grenfell tower fire in London was a “slow disaster,” the product of a long accumulation of faults and errors that resulted from erroneous assumptions and organizational and governmental decision-making. This book offers a critical perspective on the systematic failures that lead to one of the greatest tragedies in Britain in our time.
 
Before Grenfell is a poignant and timely analysis of risk, fire, and safety in postwar Britain. Tracing the evolution of state housing policy in relation to multistory housing since the mid-1950s, the book adds to a burgeoning history of the British experience of fire and safety in high-rises and investigates a latent housing crisis in contemporary Britain against a backdrop of increasingly deregulated urban building development. Drawing on public inquiries, newspaper accounts, and oral histories, Shane Ewen details other avoidable disasters, including the Ronan Point tower block explosion in 1968, the Summerland leisure center fire in 1972, and the Bradford City Football Club fire in 1985. The book closes with a powerful chapter on fire safety campaigners, including survivor groups, who are seeking justice for the victims of fire disasters. Before Grenfell aims to exert pressure on policy-makers to act on the lessons of fatal disasters in order to both prevent future casualties and establish a legacy for those who lost their lives.
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Birds of Fire
Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion
Kevin Fellezs
Duke University Press, 2011
Birds of Fire brings overdue critical attention to fusion, a musical idiom that emerged as young musicians blended elements of jazz, rock, and funk in the late 1960s and 1970s. At the time, fusion was disparaged by jazz writers and ignored by rock critics. In the years since, it has come to be seen as a commercially driven jazz substyle. Fusion never did coalesce into a genre. In Birds of Fire, Kevin Fellezs contends that hybridity was its reason for being. By mixing different musical and cultural traditions, fusion artists sought to disrupt generic boundaries, cultural hierarchies, and critical assumptions. Interpreting the work of four distinctive fusion artists—Tony Williams, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, and Herbie Hancock—Fellezs highlights the ways that they challenged convention in the 1960s and 1970s. He also considers the extent to which a musician can be taken seriously as an artist across divergent musical traditions. Birds of Fire concludes with a look at the current activities of McLaughlin, Mitchell, and Hancock; Williams’s final recordings; and the legacy of the fusion music made by these four pioneering artists.
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Blood and Fire
La Violencia in Antioquia, Colombia, 1946-1953
Mary Roldan
Duke University Press, 2003
Between 1946 and 1966a surge of violence in Colombia left 200,000 dead in one of the worst conflicts the western hemisphere has ever experienced. the first seven years of this little-studied period of terror, known as la Violencia, is the subject of Blood and Fire. Scholars have traditionally assumed that partisan politics drove La Violencia, but Mary Roldán challenges earlier assessments by providing a nuanced account of the political and cultural motives behind the fratricide. Although the author acknowledges that partisan animosities played an important role in the disintegration of peaceful discourse into violence, she argues that conventional political conflicts were intensified by other concerns.
Through an analysis of the evolution of violence in Antioquia, which at the time was the wealthiest and most economically diverse region of Colombia, Roldán demonstrates how tensions between regional politicians and the weak central state, diverse forms of social prejudice, and processes of economic development combined to make violence a preferred mode of political action. Privatization of state violence into paramilitary units and the emergence of armed resistance movements exacted a horrible cost on Colombian civic life, and these processes continue to plague the country.
Roldan’s reading of the historical events suggests that Antioquia’s experience of la Violencia was the culmination of a brand of internal colonialism in which regional identity formation based on assumptions of cultural superiority was used to justify violence against racial or ethnic "others" and as a pretext to seize land and natural resources. Blood and Fire demonstrates that, far from being a peculiarity of the Colombians, la Violencia was a logical product of capitalist development and state formation in the modern world.
This is the first study to analyze intersections of ethnicity, geography, and class to explore the genesis of Colombian violence, and it has implications for the study of repression in many other nations.
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Bullets and Fire
Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840-1950
Guy Lancaster
University of Arkansas Press, 2017
Bullets and Fire is the first collection on lynching in Arkansas, exploring all corners of the state from the time of slavery up to the mid-twentieth century and covering stories of the perpetrators, victims, and those who fought against vigilante violence.

Among the topics discussed are the lynching of slaves, the Arkansas Council of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, the 1927 lynching of John Carter in Little Rock, and the state’s long opposition to a federal anti-lynching law.

Throughout, the work reveals how the phenomenon of lynching—as the means by which a system of white supremacy reified itself, with its perpetrators rarely punished and its defenders never condemned—served to construct authority in Arkansas. Bullets and Fire will add depth to the growing body of literature on American lynching and integrate a deeper understanding of this violence into Arkansas history.
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Cheatgrass
Fire and Forage on the Range
James A. Young
University of Nevada Press, 2009
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum, downy brome) is an exotic species that appeared in North American in the late nineteenth century and has since become a dominant plant in the arid rangelands between the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and Rocky Mountains. A shallow-rooted annual, it is the first grass to appear after the region’s long, cold winters and has become an important forage plant for livestock and wildlife. It is also a major environmental hazard in the sagebrush plant communities where it has established itself, providing fuel for the ferocious wildfires that have ravaged so much of the Great Basin since the mid-twentieth century.

Cheatgrass is the first comprehensive study of this highly invasive plant that has changed the ecology of millions of acres of western rangeland. Authors James A. Young and Charlie D. Clements have researched the biology and impact of cheatgrass for four decades. Their work addresses the subject from several perspectives: the history of the invasion; the origins and biology of cheatgrass, including the traits that allow it to adapt so successfully to a wide range of soil and precipitation conditions; its genetic variations, breeding system, and patterns of distribution; its impact on grazing management; and the role it plays, both positive and negative, in the lives of high desert wildlife. The authors also describe efforts to control cheatgrass and offer some new approaches that have the potential to halt its further expansion.
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The Chemistry of Fire
Essays
Laurence Gonzales
University of Arkansas Press, 2020
"Gonzales (Flight 232), a former National Geographic feature writer, proves himself a chronicler par excellence of nature—including of the human variety—in this excellent essay collection. The psychological nuance and vivid detail throughout will dazzle readers."
Publishers Weekly starred review, July 2020

In 1989, Laurence Gonzales was a young writer with his first book of essays, The Still Point, just published by the University of Arkansas Press. Imagine his surprise, one winter day, to receive a letter from none other than Kurt Vonnegut. “The excellence of your writing and the depth of your reporting saddened me, in a way,” Vonnegut wrote, “reminding me yet again what a tiny voice facts and reason have in this era of wrap-around, mega-decibel rock-and-roll.”

Several books, many articles, and a growing list of awards later, Gonzales -- known for taking us to enthralling extremes – is still writing with excellence and depth. In this latest collection, we go from the top of Mount Washington and ”the worst weather in the world,” to 12,000 feet beneath the ocean, where a Naval Intelligence Officer discovers the Titanic using the government’s own spy equipment. We experience night assaults with the 82nd Airborne Division, the dynamiting of the 100-foot snowpack on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, a trip to the International Space Station, the crash of an airliner to the bottom of the Everglades, and more.

The University of Arkansas Press is proud to bring these stories to a new era, stories that, as with all of Gonzales’s work, “fairly sing with a voice all their own.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
 
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Child of the Fire
Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject
Kirsten Pai Buick
Duke University Press, 2010
Child of the Fire is the first book-length examination of the career of the nineteenth-century artist Mary Edmonia Lewis, best known for her sculptures inspired by historical and biblical themes. Throughout this richly illustrated study, Kirsten Pai Buick investigates how Lewis and her work were perceived, and their meanings manipulated, by others and the sculptor herself. She argues against the racialist art discourse that has long cast Lewis’s sculptures as reflections of her identity as an African American and Native American woman who lived most of her life abroad. Instead, by seeking to reveal Lewis’s intentions through analyses of her career and artwork, Buick illuminates Lewis’s fraught but active participation in the creation of a distinct “American” national art, one dominated by themes of indigeneity, sentimentality, gender, and race. In so doing, she shows that the sculptor variously complicated and facilitated the dominant ideologies of the vanishing American (the notion that Native Americans were a dying race), sentimentality, and true womanhood.

Buick considers the institutions and people that supported Lewis’s career—including Oberlin College, abolitionists in Boston, and American expatriates in Italy—and she explores how their agendas affected the way they perceived and described the artist. Analyzing four of Lewis’s most popular sculptures, each created between 1866 and 1876, Buick discusses interpretations of Hiawatha in terms of the cultural impact of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha; Forever Free and Hagar in the Wilderness in light of art historians’ assumptions that artworks created by African American artists necessarily reflect African American themes; and The Death of Cleopatra in relation to broader problems of reading art as a reflection of identity.

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City on Fire
Technology, Social Change, and the Hazards of Progress in Mexico City, 1860-1910
Anna Rose Alexander
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
By the mid-nineteenth century, efforts to modernize and industrialize Mexico City had the unintended consequence of exponentially increasing the risk of fire while also breeding a culture of fear. Through an array of archival sources, Anna Rose Alexander argues that fire became a catalyst for social change, as residents mobilized to confront the problem. Advances in engineering and medicine soon fostered the rise of distinct fields of fire-related expertise while conversely, the rise of fire-profiteering industries allowed entrepreneurs to capitalize on crisis.
 
City on Fire demonstrates that both public and private engagements with fire risk highlight the inequalities that characterized Mexican society at the turn of the twentieth century.
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City on Fire
The Explosion that Devastated a Texas Town and Ignited a Historic Legal Battle
By Bill Minutaglio
University of Texas Press, 2014

First published in 2003, City on Fire is a gripping, intimate account of the explosions of two ships loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer that demolished Texas City, Texas, in April 1947, in one of the most catastrophic disasters in American history.

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Coming through the Fire
Surviving Race and Place in America
C. Eric Lincoln
Duke University Press, 1996
In Coming through the Fire, prominent scholar and writer C. Eric Lincoln addresses the most important issue of our time with insights forged by a lifetime of confronting racial oppression in America. Born in a small rural town in northern Alabama, raised by his grandparents, Lincoln portrays in rich detail the nuances of racial conflict and control that characterized the community of Athens, personal experiences which would lead him to dedicate his life to illuminating issues of race and social identity. The contradictions and calamities of being black and poor in the United States become a purifying fire for his searing analyses of the contemporary meanings of race and color.
Coming through the Fire, with its fiercely intelligent, passionate, and clear-eyed view of race and class conflict, makes a major contribution to understanding—and thereby healing—the terrible rift that has opened up in the heart of America. Lincoln explores the nature of biracial relationships, the issue of transracial adoption, violence—particularly black-on-black violence—the “endangered” black male, racism as power, the relationship between Blacks and Jews, our multicultural melting pot, and Minister Louis Farrakhan.Without sidestepping painful issues, or sacrificing a righteous anger, the author argues for “no-fault reconciliation,” for mutual recognition of the human endowment we share regardless of race, preparing us as a nation for the true multiculture tomorrow will demand.
Readers familiar with Lincoln’s earlier groundbreaking work on the Black Muslims and on the black church will be eagerly awaiting the publication of Coming through the Fire. Others will simply find C. Eric Lincoln’s personal story and his exploration of survival and race in America to be absorbing and compelling reading.
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Drift Smoke
Loss and Renewal in a Land of Fire
David J. Strohmaier
University of Nevada Press, 2009

David Strohmaier’s long career as a firefighter has given him intimate knowledge of wildfire and its complex role in the natural world of the American West. It has also given him rare understanding of the painful losses that are a consequence of fire. Strohmaier addresses our ambivalence about fire and the realities of loss to it—of life, human and animal, of livelihoods, of beloved places. He also examines the process of renewal that is yet another consequence of fire, from the infusion of essential nutrients into the soil, to the sprouting of seeds that depend on fire for germination, to the renewal of species as the land restores itself. Ultimately, according to Strohmaier, living with fire is a matter of choices, of “seeing the connection between loss on a personal scale and loss on a landscape scale: in relationship with persons, and in relationship to and with the land.” We must cultivate a longer perspective, he says, accepting that loss is a part of life and that “humility and empathy and care are not only core virtues between humans but are also essential virtues in our attitudes and actions toward the earth.” Drift Smoke is a powerful and moving meditation on wildfire by someone who has seen it in all its terror and beauty, who has lost colleagues and beloved terrain to its ferocity, and who has also seen the miracle of new life sprouting in the ashes. The debate over the role and control of fire in the West will not soon end, but Strohmaier’s contribution to the debate will help all of us better appreciate both the complexity of the issues and the possibilities of hitherto unconsidered solutions that will allow us to inhabit a place where fire is a natural, and needed, part of life.

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Drowning in Fire
Craig S. Womack
University of Arizona Press, 2001

Josh Henneha has always been a traveler, drowning in dreams, burning with desires.

As a young boy growing up within the Muskogee Creek Nation in rural Oklahoma, Josh experiences a yearning for something he cannot tame. Quiet and skinny and shy, he feels out of place, at once inflamed and ashamed by his attraction to other boys. Driven by a need to understand himself and his history, Josh struggles to reconcile the conflicting voices he hears—from the messages of sin and scorn of the non-Indian Christian churches his parents attend in order to assimilate, to the powerful stories of his older Creek relatives, which have been the center of his upbringing, memory, and ongoing experience.

In his fevered and passionate dreams, Josh catches a glimpse of something that makes the Muskogee Creek world come alive. Lifted by his great-aunt Lucille’s tales of her own wild girlhood, Josh learns to fly back through time, to relive his people’s history, and uncover a hidden legacy of triumphs and betrayals, ceremonies and secrets he can forge into a new sense of himself.

When as a man, Josh rediscovers the boyhood friend who first stirred his desires, he realizes a transcendent love that helps take him even deeper into the Creek world he has explored all along in his imagination.

Interweaving past and present, history and story, explicit realism and dreamlike visions, Craig Womack’s Drowning in Fire explores a young man’s journey to understand his cultural and sexual identity within a framework drawn from the community of his origins. A groundbreaking and provocative coming-of-age story, Drowning in Fire is a vividly realized novel by an impressive literary talent.

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Elemental Ecocriticism
Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
University of Minnesota Press, 2015

For centuries it was believed that all matter was composed of four elements: earth, air, water, and fire in promiscuous combination, bound by love and pulled apart by strife. Elemental theory offered a mode of understanding materiality that did not center the cosmos around the human. Outgrown as a science, the elements are now what we build our houses against. Their renunciation has fostered only estrangement from the material world.

The essays collected in Elemental Ecocriticism show how elemental materiality precipitates new engagements with the ecological. Here the classical elements reveal the vitality of supposedly inert substances (mud, water, earth, air), chemical processes (fire), and natural phenomena, as well as the promise in the abandoned and the unreal (ether, phlogiston, spontaneous generation).

Decentering the human, this volume provides important correctives to the idea of the material world as mere resource. Three response essays meditate on the connections of this collaborative project to the framing of modern-day ecological concerns. A renewed intimacy with the elemental holds the potential of a more dynamic environmental ethics and the possibility of a reinvigorated materialism.


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Escaping the Fire
How an Ixil Mayan Pastor Led His People Out of a Holocaust During the Guatemalan Civil War
By Tomás Guzaro and Terri Jacob McComb
University of Texas Press, 2010

During the height of the Guatemalan civil war, Tomás Guzaro, a Mayan evangelical pastor, led more than two hundred fellow Mayas out of guerrilla-controlled Ixil territory and into the relative safety of the government army's hands. This exodus was one of the factors that caused the guerrillas to lose their grip on the Ixil, thus hastening the return of peace to the area.

In Escaping the Fire, Guzaro relates the hardships common to most Mayas and the resulting unrest that opened the door to civil war. He details the Guatemalan army's atrocities while also describing the Guerrilla Army of the Poor's rise to power in Ixil country, which resulted in limited religious freedom, murdered church leaders, and threatened congregations. His story climaxes with the harrowing vision that induced him to guide his people out of their war-torn homeland.

Guzaro also provides an intimate look at his spiritual pilgrimage through all three of Guatemala's main religions. The son of a Mayan priest, formerly a leader in the Catholic Church, and finally a convert to Protestantism, Guzaro, in detailing his religious life, offers insight into the widespread shift toward Protestantism in Latin America over the past four decades.

Riveting and highly personal, Escaping the Fire ultimately provides a counterpoint to the usual interpretation of indigenous agency during the Guatemalan civil war by documenting the little-studied experiences of Protestants living in guerrilla-held territory.

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Faces in the Fire
The Women of Beowulf: Book One
Donnita L. Rogers
Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013

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A Field on Fire
The Future of Environmental History
Edited by Mark D. Hersey and Ted Steinberg
University of Alabama Press, 2019
A frank and engaging exploration of the burgeoning academic field of environmental history

Inspired by the pioneering work of preeminent environmental historian Donald Worster, the contributors to A Field on Fire: The Future of Environmental History reflect on the past and future of this discipline. Featuring wide-ranging essays by leading environmental historians from the United States, Europe, and China, the collection challenges scholars to rethink some of their orthodoxies, inviting them to approach familiar stories from new angles, to integrate new methodologies, and to think creatively about the questions this field is well positioned to answer.
 
Worster’s groundbreaking research serves as the organizational framework for the collection. Editors Mark D. Hersey and Ted Steinberg have arranged the book into three sections corresponding to the primary concerns of Worster’s influential scholarship: the problem of natural limits, the transnational nature of environmental issues, and the question of method. Under the heading “Facing Limits,” five essays explore the inherent tensions between democracy, technology, capitalism, and the environment. The “Crossing Borders” section underscores the ways in which environmental history moves easily across national and disciplinary boundaries. Finally, “Doing Environmental History” invokes Worster’s work as an essayist by offering self-conscious reflections about the practice and purpose of environmental history.
 
The essays aim to provoke a discussion on the future of the field, pointing to untapped and underdeveloped avenues ripe for further exploration. A forward thinker like Worster presents bold challenges to a new generation of environmental historians on everything from capitalism and the Anthropocene to war and wilderness. This engaging volume includes a very special afterword by one of Worster’s oldest friends, the eminent intellectual historian Daniel Rodgers, who has known Worster for close to fifty years.
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Fire and Ashes
Success and Failure in Politics
Michael Ignatieff
Harvard University Press, 2013

In 2005 Michael Ignatieff left his life as a writer and professor at Harvard University to enter the combative world of politics back home in Canada. By 2008, he was leader of the country’s Liberal Party and poised—should the governing Conservatives falter—to become Canada’s next Prime Minister. It never happened. Today, after a bruising electoral defeat, Ignatieff is back where he started, writing and teaching what he learned.

What did he take away from this crash course in political success and failure? Did a life of thinking about politics prepare him for the real thing? How did he handle it when his own history as a longtime expatriate became a major political issue? Are cynics right to despair about democratic politics? Are idealists right to hope? Ignatieff blends reflection and analysis to portray today’s democratic politics as ruthless, unpredictable, unforgiving, and hyper-adversarial.

Rough as it is, Ignatieff argues, democratic politics is a crucible for compromise, and many of the apparent vices of political life, from inconsistency to the fake smile, follow from the necessity of bridging differences in a pluralist society. A compelling account of modern politics as it really is, the book is also a celebration of the political life in all its wild, exuberant variety.

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Fire and Desire
Mixed-Race Movies in the Silent Era
Jane M. Gaines
University of Chicago Press, 2001
In the silent era, American cinema was defined by two separate and parallel industries, with white and black companies producing films for their respective, segregated audiences. Jane Gaines's highly anticipated new book reconsiders the race films of this era with an ambitious historical and theoretical agenda.

Fire and Desire offers a penetrating look at the black independent film movement during the silent period. Gaines traces the profound influence that D. W. Griffith's racist epic The Birth of a Nation exerted on black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux, the director of the newly recovered Within Our Gates. Beginning with What Happened in the Tunnel, a movie that played with race and sex taboos by featuring the first interracial kiss in film, Gaines also explores the cinematic constitution of self and other through surprise encounters: James Baldwin sees himself in the face of Bette Davis, family resemblance is read in Richard S. Robert's portrait of an interracial family, and black film pioneer George P. Johnson looks back on Micheaux.

Given the impossibility of purity and the co-implication of white and black, Fire and Desire ultimately questions the category of "race movies" itself.
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Fire and Ink
An Anthology of Social Action Writing
Edited by Frances Payne Adler, Debra Busman, and Diana García
University of Arizona Press, 2009
Fire and Ink is a powerful and impassioned anthology of stories, poems, interviews, and essays that confront some of the most pressing social issues of our day. Designed to inspire and inform, this collection embodies the concepts of “breaking silence,” “bearing witness,” resistance, and resilience. Beyond students and teachers, the book will appeal to all readers with a commitment to social justice.

Fire and Ink brings together, for the first time in one volume, politically engaged writing by poets, fiction writers, and essayists. Including many of our finest writers—Martín Espada, Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Patricia Smith, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sharon Olds, Arundhati Roy, Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn Forche, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Alice Walker, Linda Hogan, Gary Soto, Kim Blaeser, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Li-Young Lee, and Jimmy Santiago Baca, among others—this is an indispensable collection.

This groundbreaking anthology marks the emergence of social action writing as a distinct field within creative writing and literature. Featuring never-before-published pieces, as well as reprinted material, Fire and Ink is divided into ten sections focused on significant social issues, including identity, sexuality and gender, the environment, social justice, work, war, and peace. The pieces can often be gripping, such as “Frame,” in which Adrienne Rich confronts government and police brutality, or Chris Abani’s “Ode to Joy,” which documents great courage in the face of mortal danger.

Fire and Ink serves as a wonderful reader for a wide range of courses, from composition and rhetoric classes to courses in ethnic studies, gender studies, American studies, and even political science, by facing a past that was often accompanied by injustice and suffering. But beyond that, this collection teaches us that we all have the power to create a more equitable and just future.
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Fire and Iron
Critical Approaches to Njáls saga
Richard F. Allen
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1971

Written in Iceland by an unknown author about 1280, Njáls saga has been called the greatest work of vernacular prose fiction from the European Middle Ages. Allen's finely written and perceptive study is one of the first in English to offer a critical examination of the text.

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Fire in the Big House
America’s Deadliest Prison Disaster
Mitchel P. Roth
Ohio University Press, 2019

On April 21, 1930—Easter Monday—some rags caught fire under the Ohio Penitentiary’s dry and aging wooden roof, shortly after inmates had returned to their locked cells after supper. In less than an hour, 320 men who came from all corners of Prohibition-era America and from as far away as Russia had succumbed to fire and smoke in what remains the deadliest prison disaster in United States history.

Within 24 hours, moviegoers were watching Pathé’s newsreel of the fire, and in less than a week, the first iteration of the weepy ballad “Ohio Prison Fire” was released. The deaths brought urgent national and international focus to the horrifying conditions of America’s prisons (at the time of the fire, the Ohio Penitentiary was at almost three times its capacity). Yet, amid darkening world politics and the first years of the Great Depression, the fire receded from public concern.

In Fire in the Big House, Mitchel P. Roth does justice to the lives of convicts and guards and puts the conflagration in the context of the rise of the Big House prison model, local and state political machinations, and American penal history and reform efforts. The result is the first comprehensive account of a tragedy whose circumstances—violent unrest, overcrowding, poorly trained and underpaid guards, unsanitary conditions, inadequate food—will be familiar to prison watchdogs today.

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The Fire in the Equations
Science Religion & Search For God
Kitty Ferguson
Templeton Press, 2004

“ In this beautifully and intelligently written book, Ferguson not only reports on some of the intellectual tremors jolting the world of thinking women and men, but also considers the basic questions with penetrating analysis, yet at a very readable level. . . . An excellent book.” Choice

Heralded for its readability and scholarship, The Fire in the Equations offers a fascinating discussion of scientific discoveries and their impact on our beliefs. The book’s title is derived from Dr. Stephen Hawking’s pondering, “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

Originally published in the U.S. in 1995, it provides an excursion through new theories of quantum physics and cosmology, ranging from the nature of time, the big bang, the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, laws of nature, and their possible relation to God, chaos theory, black holes, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, particle physics, Darwin's theory of evolution, and the role of God in all these equations. It even raises such questions as “how God might answer prayers” from the point of view of physics.

While she gives no absolute answers, Kitty Ferguson takes the reader through a world of paradoxes and improbabilities, explaining how believing in a pre-determined universe and free will as a theory of human behavior is possible. She concludes that what we know about science doesn't necessarily make God inevitable, but does not rule God out either.

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Fire in the Hole
Sybil Downing
University Press of Colorado, 1996
The award-winning Fire in the Hole is the tale of a young widowed lawyer swept up in the violence of the famous Colorado coal strike of 1913-1914 known to history as the Ludlow Massacre. Opposed by the coal companies, the union, Wall Street, and the federal government, Alex hatches a scheme involving the president to overturn martial law and settle the strike. A gripping tale of a woman who dares to go beyond the conventions of the day to find freedom and justice amid a power struggle so terrifying it would wrench the nation's conscience for decades.
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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air
Legends of West Texas Music
By Christopher J. Oglesby
University of Texas Press, 2006

From Buddy Holly and the Crickets to the Flatlanders, Terry Allen, and Natalie Maines, Lubbock, Texas, has produced songwriters, musicians, and artists as prolifically as cotton, conservatives, and windstorms. While nobody questions where the conservatives come from in a city that a recent nonpartisan study ranked as America's second most conservative, many people wonder why Lubbock is such fertile ground for creative spirits who want to expand the boundaries of thought in music and art. Is it just that "there's nothing else to do," as some have suggested, or is there something in the character of Lubbock that encourages creativity as much as conservatism?

In this book, Christopher Oglesby interviews twenty-five musicians and artists with ties to Lubbock to discover what it is about this community and West Texas in general that feeds the creative spirit. Their answers are revealing. Some speak of the need to rebel against conventional attitudes that threaten to limit their horizons. Others, such as Joe Ely, praise the freedom of mind they find on the wide open plains. "There is this empty desolation that I could fill if I picked up a pen and wrote, or picked up a guitar and played," he says. Still others express skepticism about how much Lubbock as a place contributes to the success of its musicians. Jimmie Dale Gilmore says, "I think there is a large measure of this Lubbock phenomenon that is just luck, and that is the part that you cannot explain."

As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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A Fire in Their Hearts
Tony Michels
Harvard University Press, 2009

In a compelling history of the Jewish community in New York during four decades of mass immigration, Tony Michels examines the defining role of the Yiddish socialist movement in the American Jewish experience.

The movement, founded in the 1880s, was dominated by Russian-speaking intellectuals, including Abraham Cahan, Mikhail Zametkin, and Chaim Zhitlovsky. Socialist leaders quickly found Yiddish essential to convey their message to the Jewish immigrant community, and they developed a remarkable public culture through lectures and social events, workers’ education societies, Yiddish schools, and a press that found its strongest voice in the mass-circulation newspaper Forverts.

Arguing against the view that socialism and Yiddish culture arrived as Old World holdovers, Michels demonstrates that they arose in New York in response to local conditions and thrived not despite Americanization, but because of it. And the influence of the movement swirled far beyond the Lower East Side, to a transnational culture in which individuals, ideas, and institutions crossed the Atlantic. New York Jews, in the beginning, exported Yiddish socialism to Russia, not the other way around.

The Yiddish socialist movement shaped Jewish communities across the United States well into the twentieth century and left an important political legacy that extends to the rise of neoconservatism. A story of hopeful successes and bitter disappointments, A Fire in Their Hearts brings to vivid life this formative period for American Jews and the American left.

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Fire, Native Peoples, and the Natural Landscape
Edited by Thomas R. Vale
Island Press, 2002

For nearly two centuries, the creation myth for the United States imagined European settlers arriving on the shores of a vast, uncharted wilderness. Over the last two decades, however, a contrary vision has emerged, one which sees the country's roots not in a state of "pristine" nature but rather in a "human-modified landscape" over which native peoples exerted vast control.

Fire, Native Peoples, and the Natural Landscape seeks a middle ground between those conflicting paradigms, offering a critical, research-based assessment of the role of Native Americans in modifying the landscapes of pre-European America. Contributors focus on the western United States and look at the question of fire regimes, the single human impact which could have altered the environment at a broad, landscape scale, and which could have been important in almost any part of the West. Each of the seven chapters is written by a different author about a different subregion of the West, evaluating the question of whether the fire regimes extant at the time of European contact were the product of natural factors or whether ignitions by Native Americans fundamentally changed those regimes.

An introductory essay offers context for the regional chapters, and a concluding section compares results from the various regions and highlights patterns both common to the West as a whole and distinctive for various parts of the western states. The final section also relates the findings to policy questions concerning the management of natural areas, particularly on federal lands, and of the "naturalness" of the pre-European western landscape.


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Fire
Nature and Culture
Stephen J. Pyne
Reaktion Books, 2012
For over 400 million years, fire has been an integral force on our planet. It can be as innocent as a bonfire or as destructive and lethal as a wildfire. Human history is rife with fires that have leveled cities—the Fire of Moscow in 1812 that destroyed seventy-five percent of the city, the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that took down 17,000 buildings, and the fire that obliterated San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake are just a few. Fire is a force of nature that can consume everything in its wake, and yet it also has tremendous powers of cleansing and renewal. At the end of the day, we can’t live without it.
 
In Fire, Stephen J. Pyne offers a concise history of fire and its use by humanity, explaining how fire has been at the core of hunting, foraging, farming, herding, urbanizing, and managing nature reserves. He depicts how it gave humans power in ancient times, which resulted in humanity beginning to reshape the world for its own benefit. He describes how fire was used by aboriginal societies and the ways agricultural societies added control over fuel, but warns that our mastery of the science and art of fire has not given us complete control—fire disasters throughout history have defined cultures, and unexpected fires that begin as the result of other disasters have shocking effects. Pyne traces fire’s influence on landscapes, art, science, and even climate, exploring the power a simple spark has over our imaginations.
 
Lavishly illustrated with a host of rare and unexpected images, Fire is a sizzling and accessible tale of our relationship with this primal natural force.
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A Fire of Lilies
Perspectives on Literature and Politics in Modern Iran
Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak
Leiden University Press, 2019
A Fire of Lilies examines the role of Persian literature in the politics of the tumultuous period of Iranian history from 1950 to 2000, illustrating how intellectuals used poetry, plays, novels and short stories to comment on socio-political developments. It analyses how Persian intellectuals dealt with censorship, suppression, imprisonment, exile and even execution for the sake of expression of free speech. The book offers a strong empirical perspective, as Karimi-Hakkak has participated in the events he is writing about.
 
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The Fire of the Jaguar
Terence S. Turner
HAU, 2017
Not since Clifford Geertz’s “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” has the publication of an anthropological analysis been as eagerly awaited as this book, Terence S. Turner’s The Fire of the Jaguar. His reanalysis of the famous myth from the Kayapo people of Brazil was anticipated as an exemplar of a new, dynamic, materialist, action-oriented structuralism, one very different from the kind made famous by Claude Lévi-Strauss. But the study never fully materialized. Now, with this volume, it has arrived, bringing with it powerful new insights that challenge the way we think about structuralism, its legacy, and the reasons we have moved away from it.
           
In these chapters, Turner carries out one of the richest and most sustained analysis of a single myth ever conducted. Turner places the “Fire of the Jaguar” myth in the full context of Kayapo society and culture and shows how it became both an origin tale and model for the work of socialization, which is the primary form of productive labor in Kayapo society. A posthumous tribute to Turner’s theoretical erudition, ethnographic rigor, and respect for Amazonian indigenous lifeworlds, this book brings this fascinating Kayapo myth alive for new generations of anthropologists. Accompanied with some of Turner’s related pieces on Kayapo cosmology, this book is at once a richly literary work and an illuminating meditation on the process of creativity itself.
 
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Fire on the Plateau
Conflict And Endurance In The American Southwest
Charles Wilkinson
Island Press, 1999
"This book recounts my journey through the Colorado Plateau, a journey through place and time and self.... During my explorations of more than three decades, I found a land that sears into my heart and soul, a place that has taught me and changed me. I also discovered a land of conflict and endurance, a land that has given birth to one of the great chapters in American history." --from the Introduction The Colorado Plateau, stretching across four states and covering nearly 80 million acres, is one of the most unique and spectacular landscapes in the world. Remote, rugged, and dry -- at once forlorn and glorious -- it is a separate place, a place with its own distinctive landscape, history, and future.In Fire on the Plateau, legal scholar and writer Charles Wilkinson relates the powerful story of how, over the past thirty years, he has been drawn ever more deeply into the redrock country and Indian societies of the Colorado Plateau. His work in the early 1970s as staff attorney for the newly formed Native American Rights Fund brought him into close contact with Navajo and Hopi people. His growing friendships with American Indians and increasing understanding of their cultures, along with his longstanding scholarship and experiences on federal public lands, led him to delve into the complicated history of the region.Wilkinson examines that history -- the sometimes violent conflicts between indigenous populations and more recent settlers, the political machinations by industry and the legal establishment, the contentious disputes over resources and land use -- and provides a compelling look at the epic events that have shaped the region. From centuries of habitation by native peoples to Mormon settlement, from the "Big Build-Up" of the post-World War II era to the increased environmental awareness of recent years, he explores the conquests of tribes and lands that have taken place, and the ways in which both have endured.Throughout, Wilkinson uses his own personal experiences as a lawyer working with Indian people and his heartfelt insights about a land that he grew to love to tie together the threads of the story. Fire on the Plateau is a vital and dynamic work that is sure to strike a chord with anyone interested in the past or future of the American Southwest.
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Fire on the Prairie
Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency
Gary Rivlin
Temple University Press, 2012

Harold Washington’s historic and improbable victory over the vaunted Chicago political machine shook up American politics. The election of the enigmatic yet engaging Washington led to his serving five tumultuous years as the city’s first black mayor. He fashioned an uneasy but potent multiracial coalition that today still stands as a model for political change.

In this revised edition of Fire on the Prairie, acclaimed reporter Gary Rivlin chronicles Washington’s legacy—a tale rich in character and intrigue. He reveals the cronyism of Daley’s government and Washington’s rivalry with Jesse Jackson. Rivlin also shows how Washington’s success inspired a young community organizer named Barack Obama to turn to the electoral arena as a vehicle for change. While the story of a single city, , this political biography is anything but parochial.

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Fire on the Water
Sailors, Slaves, and Insurrection in Early American Literature, 1789-1886
Warren, Lenora
Bucknell University Press, 2019
Lenora Warren tells a new story about the troubled history of abolition and slave violence by examining representations of shipboard mutiny and insurrection in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Anglo-American and American literature. Fire on the Water centers on five black sailors, whose experiences of slavery and insurrection either inspired or found resonance within fiction: Olaudah Equiano, Denmark Vesey, Joseph Cinqué, Madison Washington, and Washington Goode. These stories of sailors, both real and fictional, reveal how the history of mutiny and insurrection is both shaped by, and resistant to, the prevailing abolitionist rhetoric surrounding the efficacy of armed rebellion as a response to slavery. Pairing well-known texts with lesser-known figures (Billy Budd and Washington Goode) and well-known figures with lesser-known texts (Denmark Vesey and the work of John Howison), this book reveals the richness of literary engagement with the politics of slave violence.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
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Fire on Water
Porgess and The Abyss
Arnost Lustig
Northwestern University Press, 2005
Contemplations of survival by one of the leading Czech writers of the twentieth century

It occurred to me why I was able to forgive the Italians, but never the Germans. Was it because the Italians never slept on mattresses stuffed with the hair of Luster Leibling or Weltfeind Flusser?

In this pair of short novels, Arnošt Lustig continues his lifelong project of creating a universe-at once concrete and dreamlike-to examine the horrors of the Holocaust and the impossible burden of living as a survivor.
The Abyss is the fragmented memories of David Wiesenthal, aged twenty, tortured by what he has witnessed and by the knowledge that luck-not skill, not courage, certainly not goodness-separated the survivors from the doomed. He seeks solace remembering the women he's loved or desired, even the one who represents his death.
In Porgess, the narrator recounts the life of the title character, "the most handsome boy in Jewish Prague" who was paralyzed on the last day of World War II. The two discuss their mutual fascinations-women, jazz, the significance of numbers-in sometimes bitter, sometimes sardonic voices, but always with the specters of the dead and the guilt of survival close at hand.
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Fire, Pestilence, and Death
St. Louis, 1849
Christopher Alan Gordon
Missouri Historical Society Press, 2018
In 1849, St. Louis was little more than a frontier town, swelling under the pressure of rapid population growth, creaking under the strain of poor infrastructure, and often trapped within the confines of ignorance and prejudice. The cholera epidemic and Great Fire of 1849 were both a consequence of those problems and—despite the devastation they brought—a chance for the city to escape them. This book draws on the incomparable archives of the Missouri Historical Society, including newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, city and county records, and contemporary publications, to reveal the story of 1849 St. Louis as it was experienced by people who lived through that incredible year. The tale that emerges is as impressive as the city it depicts: full of all the drama and excitement of a great narrative and brimming with vivid accounts of momentous events whose causes and effects are still debated today. No St. Louis history buff will want to miss it.
 
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For Fear of the Fire
Joan of Arc and the Limits of Subjectivity
Françoise Meltzer
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Why are contemporary secular theorists so frequently drawn to saints, martyrs, and questions of religion? Why has Joan of Arc fascinated some of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century? In a book that faces crucial issues in both critical and feminist inquiry, Françoise Meltzer uses the story of Joan as a guide for reading the postmodern nostalgia for a body that is intact and transparent. She argues that critics who place excessive emphasis on opposition and difference remain blind to their nostalgia for the pre-Cartesian idea that the body and mind are the same.

Engaging a number of theorists, and alternating between Joan's historical and cultural context, Meltzer also explores the ways in which postmodern thinkers question subjectivity. She argues that the way masculine subjects imagine Joan betrays their fear of death and necessitates the role of women as cultural others: enigmatic, mysterious, dark, and impossible. As such, Joan serves as a useful model of the limits and risks of subjectivity. For Meltzer, she is both the first modern and the last medieval figure. From the ecclesial jury that burned her, to the theorists of today who deny their attraction to the supernatural, the philosophical assumptions that inform Joan's story, as Meltzer ultimately shows, have changed very little.
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Freedom on Fire
John Shattuck
Harvard University Press, 2003

As the chief human rights official of the Clinton Administration, John Shattuck faced far-flung challenges. Disasters were exploding simultaneously--genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia, murder and atrocities in Haiti, repression in China, brutal ethnic wars, and failed states in other parts of the world. But America was mired in conflicting priorities and was reluctant to act. What were Shattuck and his allies to do?

This is the story of their struggle inside the U.S. government over how to respond. Shattuck tells what was tried and what was learned as he and other human rights hawks worked to change the Clinton Administration's human rights policy from disengagement to saving lives and bringing war criminals to justice. He records his frustrations and disappointments, as well as the successes achieved in moving human rights to the center of U.S. foreign policy.

Shattuck was at the heart of the action. He was the first official to interview the survivors of Srebrenica. He confronted Milosevic in Belgrade. He was a key player in bringing the leaders of genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda to justice. He pushed from the inside for an American response to the crisis of the Haitian boat people. He pressed for the release of political prisoners in China. His book is both an insider's account and a detailed prescription for preventing such wars in the future.

Shattuck criticizes the Bush Administration's approach, which he says undermines human rights at home and around the world. He argues that human rights wars are breeding grounds for terrorism. Freedom on Fire describes the shifting challenges of global leadership in a world of explosive hatreds and deepening inequalities.

[more]

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From Chariots of Fire to The King's Speech
Writing Biopics and Docudramas
Alan Rosenthal
Southern Illinois University Press, 2014

Over the past decade, movie audiences have become hungry for films based on real people and historical events. Never was this more evident than during the best-picture showdown between The King’s Speech and The Social Network during the 2011 Academy Awards, a scene then repeated, with Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty in the 2013 awards.. While Hollywood moguls have come to recognize the box-office revenue and critical acclaim that accompany such films and are now fast-tracking many docudramas into theaters, there remains a need for more reality-based film scripts.

In From “Chariots of Fire” to “The King’s Speech,” writer, director, and producer Alan Rosenthal presents a manual for screenwriters to develop their bio-pic or docudrama from concept to completion. This comprehensive guide begins with an overview of the genre before providing screenwriters with all the techniques and insights needed to navigate the often intimidating landscape of screenwriting for reality-based scripts. Included within the volume are tips for such challenges as inception and research, developing dialogue and narration, and capably addressing any legal and rights issues that may arise. Also included are appendixes containing useful marketing tips and broadcast guidelines.

A practical, down-to-earth manual for experienced and novice screenwriters alike, From “Chariots of Fire” to “The King’s Speech”  is the only manual dedicated explicitly to writing the bio-pic and docudrama. Rosenthal shares his decades of experience in the film industry, along with hands-on tools and maps, to help screenwriters completely master this popular film genre.

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Giraffe on Fire
Juan Felipe Herrera
University of Arizona Press, 2001
First Place co-winner, Best Poetry, Latino Literary Hall of Fame

A poetic collage of voices, genres, and time-spaces. A display of power over language and rhythm. A postmodern performance of naked figures hanging in the nebulae of a militarized universe. A new millennium cubist manifesto against decrepit political machines. A mystic song in search of birth and love. In this new collection of poems, Juan Felipe Herrera's natural talent for capturing the raw dimensions of reality merges with his wild imagination and technical prowess.

Things, names, places, histories, herstories, desires, wills, minds, and their effects and progeny are re-mixed, re-mastered, and re-cast into a new narrative theater. Characters in a constant and stubborn rush, appearance, disappearance, and flow—with, against, and for each other—create the fire and give birth to the hallucinatory spotted and leaf-eating, long-necked child. Exciting and original, cutting-edge and risk-taking, Giraffe on Fire is a breathtaking addition to a respected body of work by a poet not afraid to speak out about how poetry reflects the raw beauty and truth of life.
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Granite, Fire, and Fog
The Natural and Cultural History of Acadia
Tom Wessels
University Press of New England, 2017
Acadia National Park, on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, is among the most popular national parks in the United States. From the road, visitors can experience magnificent vistas of summit and sea, but on a more intimate scale, equally compelling views abound along Acadia’s hiking trails. Tom Wessels, an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, attributes the park’s popularity—and its unusual beauty—to the unique way in which earth, air, fire, and water—in the form of glacially scoured granite, winter winds, fire, and ocean fog—have converged to create a landscape that can be found nowhere else. In this beautifully illustrated book, Wessels invites readers to investigate the remarkable natural history of Mount Desert Island, along with the unique cultural story it gave rise to. This account of nature, terrain, and human interaction with the landscape will delight those who like to hike these bald summits, ride along the carriage roads, or explore the island’s rugged shoreline. Wessels concludes with a guided tour of one of his favorite hikes, a ten-mile loop that will acquaint the reader with the diverse ecosystems described throughout his book.
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Ice, Fire, and Nutcrackers
A Rocky Mountain Ecology
George Constantz
University of Utah Press, 2014
Why do quaking aspens grow in prominent clumps rather than randomly scattered across the landscape? Why and how does a rufous hummingbird drop its metabolism to one-hundredth of its normal rate? Why do bull elk grow those enormous antlers? Using his experience as a biologist and ecologist, George Constantz illuminates these remarkable slices of mountain life in plain but engaging language. Whether it sketches conflict or cooperation, surprise or familiarity, each story resolves when interpreted through the theory of evolution by natural selection.
 
These provocative accounts of birds, insects, rodents, predators, trees, and flowers are sure to stir the reader’s curiosity. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a rattlesnake’s ability to hunt in total darkness by detecting the infrared radiation emitted by a mouse? Or how white-tailed ptarmigan thrive in their high, treeless alpine environments -- even through the winter? The narratives, often brought home with a counterintuitive twist, invite readers to make new connections and broaden perspectives of a favorite outdoor place. 
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In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land
New and Collected Poems from Two Languages
Ariel Dorfman
Duke University Press, 2002
In the world of Chilean poet Ariel Dorfman, men and women can be forced to choose between leaving their country or dying for it. The living risk losing everything, but what they hold onto—love, faith, hope, truth—might change the world. It is this subversive possibility that speaks through these poems. A succession of voices—exiles, activists, separated lovers, the families of those victimized by political violence—gives an account of ruptured safety. They bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of personal and social damage in the aftermath of terror. The first bilingual edition of Dorfman’s work, In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land includes ten new poems and a new preface, and brings back into print the classic poems of the celebrated Last Waltz in Santiago. Always an eloquent voice against the ravages of inhumanity, Dorfman’s poems, like his acclaimed novels, continue to be a searing testimony of hope in the midst of despair.
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Indians, Fire, and the Land in the Pacific Northwest
Robert Boyd
Oregon State University Press, 2011
This publication is supported by a generous grant from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde through their Cultural Resources Publication Sponsorship Program

Instead of discovering a land blanketed by dense forests, early explorers of the Pacific Northwest encountered a varied landscape including open woods, meadows, and prairies. Far from a pristine wilderness, much of the Northwest was actively managed and shaped by the hands of its Native American inhabitants. Their primary tool was fire.

This volume takes an interdisciplinary approach to one of the most important issues concerning Native Americans and their relationship to the land. Over more than 10,000 years, Native Americans in the Northwest learned the intricacies of their local environments and how to use fire to create desired effects, mostly in the quest for food.

Drawing on historical journals, Native American informants, and ethnobotanical and forestry studies, this book’s contributors describe local patterns of fire use in eight ecoregions, representing all parts of the Native Northwest, from southwest Oregon to British Columbia and from Puget Sound to the Northern Rockies. Their essays provide glimpses into a unique understanding of the environment, one that draws on traditional ecological knowledge. Together, these writings also offer historical perspective on the contemporary debate over “prescribed burning” and management of public lands.

This updated edition includes a foreword by Frank K. Lake and a new epilogue by editor Robert T. Boyd. Contributors include Stephen Arno, Stephen Barrett, Theresa Ferguson, David French, Eugene Hunn, Leslie Johnson, Jeff LaLande, Estella Leopold, Henry Lewis, Helen H. Norton, Reg Pullen, William Robbins, John Ross, Nancy Turner, and Richard White.
 
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Indians, Fire, and the Land in the Pacific Northwest
Robert Boyd
Oregon State University Press, 1999

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Into the Fire
A Post-9/11 American in Tel Aviv
Charles T. Salmon
Michigan State University Press, 2003

In the fall of 2001 Charles Salmon had a Fulbright fellowship in Israel. He was due to depart on September 12. Arriving in Israel a few weeks later, speaking no Hebrew and largely unfamiliar with Judaism and Israeli customs, he immersed himself in Israeli culture.
     This collection of correspondence began as a weekly report to friends and was designed to offer an alternative to mainstream media. With the excitement of a tourist and the eagerness of an anthropologist, Salmon emerges as a modern Candide. He describes historical sites and a supermarket in Tel Aviv, discusses the differences between university students in Israel and America, and negotiates the purchase of food and the vagaries of the weather with humor and passion. The letters also discuss Israeli–Palestinian relations, and details terrorist events and responses to them.
     This unique book focuses on how everyday hopes and fears transcend geopolitical boundaries and provides valuable lessons on how to thrive in these new and uncertain times.

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Into the Fire
Ploesti, the Most Fateful Mission of World War II
Duane Schultz
Westholme Publishing, 2007

The True Story of the Daring Attempt to Cripple Nazi Germany's Oil Production

A detailed and vivid account of the World War II disaster."Booklist

"Into the Fire shimmers with historical parallels and modern resonances. . . . Schultz combed an impressive body of material for this account."Washington Times

"This bittersweet tale of arrogance, wishful thinking, sacrifice, and heroism is recounted with grace and empathy."Military.com

"Schultz combines a historian's meticulous research and a novelist's hypnotic prose to produce this memorable popular history... Shultz's intimate account of this controversial episode is a timely reminder of the horrors of war and a moving tribute to Ploestl's heroes." —Publishers Weekly


"We knew it was a disaster and knew that in the flames shooting up from those refineries we might be burned to death. But we went right in." —Lt. Norman Whalen

"We were dragged through the mouth of hell."from a Ploesti Mission debriefing report

Planned by Winston Churchill, authorized by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and executed by five specially trained American bomber units, the attack on the oil refineries of Ploesti, Romania, was among the most daring and dangerous missions of World War II. If the raid succeeded, the Nazi war machine would suffer a devastating blow. On August 1, 1943, nearly two hundred B-24 bombers flew from Benghazi, North Africa, with directions to descend on Ploesti at treetop level, bomb the refineries, and return. The low-level bombers could evade enemy radar and were thought to be more difficult to shoot down. But despite warnings that a German heavy flak train had been moved into the area and that the secrecy of their mission had been compromised, the bombers were sent out. Minutes from the target, one of the commanders made a wrong turn, leading the formations away from Ploesti. Recovering from this mistake, most of the bombers relocated the refineries, but the mission was doomed. The ensuing air-ground battle claimed dozens of the bombers, and many of those that survived the ordeal were forced to ditch in the ocean or in remote areas due to lack of fuel or structural damage.

In Into the Fire: Ploesti, The Most Fateful Mission of World War II, Duane Schultz re-creates this great battle, combining original research and interviews with survivors in order to capture the tension, drama, and heroics of the warring sides. More Medals of Honor were awarded for this mission than any other aerial combat enterprise in the history of the United States. But the medals are bittersweet testimony to the courage of the 1,726 young men who risked all on a fateful attempt to cut off the Nazi supply of "black gold."

[more]

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Island on Fire
The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire
Tom Zoellner
Harvard University Press, 2020

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“Impeccably researched and seductively readable…tells the story of Sam Sharpe’s revolution manqué, and the subsequent abolition of slavery in Jamaica, in a way that’s acutely relevant to the racial unrest of our own time.” —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls’ Rising

The final uprising of enslaved people in Jamaica started as a peaceful labor strike a few days shy of Christmas in 1831. A harsh crackdown by white militias quickly sparked a full-blown revolt, leaving hundreds of plantation houses in smoking ruins. The rebels lost their daring bid for freedom, but their headline-grabbing defiance triggered a decisive turn against slavery.

Island on Fire is a dramatic day-by-day account of these transformative events. A skillful storyteller, Tom Zoellner uses diaries, letters, and colonial records to tell the intimate story of the men and women who rose up and briefly tasted liberty. He brings to life the rebellion’s enigmatic leader, the preacher Samuel Sharpe, and shows how his fiery resistance turned the tide of opinion in London and hastened the end of slavery in the British Empire.

“Zoellner’s vigorous, fast-paced account brings to life a varied gallery of participants…The revolt failed to improve conditions for the enslaved in Jamaica, but it crucially wounded the institution of slavery itself.” —Fergus M. Bordewich, Wall Street Journal

“It’s high time that we had a book like the splendid one Tom Zoellner has written: a highly readable but carefully documented account of the greatest of all British slave rebellions, the miseries that led to it, and the momentous changes it wrought.” —Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains

[more]

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Isle of Fire
The Political Ecology of Landscape Burning in Madagascar
Christian A. Kull
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Long considered both best friend and worst enemy to humankind, fire is at once creative and destructive. On the endangered tropical island of Madagascar, these two faces of fire have fueled a century-long conflict between rural farmers and island leaders. Based on detailed fieldwork in Malagasy villages and a thorough archival investigation, Isle of Fire offers a detailed analysis of why Madagascar has always been aflame, why it always will be aflame, and ultimately, as Christian Kull argues, why it should remain aflame.
[more]

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Labor of Fire
The Ontology of Labor between Economy and Culture
Bruno Gullì
Temple University Press, 2005
In Labor of Fire, Bruno Gullì offers a timely and much needed re-examination of the concept of labor. Distinguishing between "productive labor" (working for money or subsistence) and "living labor" (working for artistic creation), Gullì convincingly argues for a definition of work that recognizes the importance of artistic and social creativity to our definition of labor and the self.

Gullì lays the groundwork for his book by offering a critique of productive labor, and then maps out his productive/living labor distinction in detail, reviewing the work of Marx and others.
[more]

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Ladders to Fire
Anaïs Nin
Ohio University Press, 2014

Anaïs Nin’s Ladders to Fire interweaves the stories of several women, each emotionally inhibited in her own way: through self-doubt, fear, guilt, moral drift, and distrust. The novel follows their inner struggles to overcome these barriers to happiness and wholeness. The author’s own experiences, as recorded in her famous diaries, supplied the raw material for her fiction. It was her intuitive, experimental, and always original style that transformed one into the other. Nin herself memorably claimed that “it was the fiction writer who edited the diary.”

Ladders to Fire is the first book of Nin’s continuous novel, Cities of the Interior, which also includes Children of the Albatross,The Four-Chambered Heart,A Spy in the House of Love, and Seduction of the Minotaur. These loosely interlinked stories develop the characters and themes established in the first volume, leading slowly toward a resolution of inner turmoil and conflict.

This Swallow Press reissue of Ladders to Fire includes a new introduction by Nin scholar Benjamin Franklin V, as well as Gunther Stuhlmann’s classic foreword to the 1995 edition.

[more]

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Ladders To Fire
New Expanded Edition
Anaïs Nin
Ohio University Press, 1959

After struggling with her own press and printing her own works, Anaïs Nin succeeded in getting Ladders to Fire accepted and published in 1946. This recognition marked a milestone in her life and career. Admitted into the fellowship of American novelists, she maintained the individuality of her literary style. She resisted realistic writing and drew on the experience and intuitions of her diary to forge a novelistic style emphasizing free association, the language of emotion, spontaneity, and improvisation.

Ladders to Fire is the first volume of Nin’s celebrated series of novels called Cities of the Interior

For Anaïs Nin, her writing and her life were not separable, they were both part of the same experience. She claimed that “is it the fiction writer who edited the diary.”

Anaïs Nin continues to find an audience, whether for her fiction, her diaries, or her own life story, which has enjoyed the attention of biographers and filmmakers. This 1995 reissue of Ladders to Fire has a new cover and foreword.

[more]

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Land of Fire
Poems
Mario Chard
Tupelo Press, 2018
The poems in Mario Chard’s first collection follow three entangled strands — a contemporary immigrant story, echoes of the Fall in Paradise Lost, and meditations on fatherhood in the shadow of Abraham’s command to sacrifice a son. The poet speaks from the American hemisphere, immersed in histories of loss from long before Magellan first glimpsed his tierra del fuego. This Land of Fire is close at hand though we try and insist upon its distance, like the sun, like Milton’s Pandemonium, like the wars outside our borders or within.
[more]

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London Bridge in Plague and Fire
A Novel
David Madden
University of Tennessee Press, 2012
“Like Dr. Frankenstein’s invented creature, the larger-than-life, flesh-and-blood characters of London Bridge in Plague and Fireare made from pieces of the dead past that are forged in the consciousness of an historian—himself a creation of history and of David Madden’s literary magic.  Struck by the lightning bolt of the co-joined imaginations of Madden and his reader, the fabricated beings rise up and walk on London Bridge, and they have the audacity to speak for themselves in completely convincing and haunting voices.” —Allen Wier, author of Tehano

For more than two thousand years, Old London Bridge evolved through many fragile wooden forms until it became the first bridge built of stone since the Roman invaders. With over two hundred houses and shops built directly upon the bridge, it was a wonder of the world until it was dismantled in 1832.
    In this stunningly original novel, Old London Bridge is as much a living, breathing character as its architect, the priest Peter de Colechurch, who began work on it in 1176, partly to honor Archbishop Thomas à Becket, murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1665, the year of the Great Plague, Peter’s history is unknown, but Daryl Braintree, a young poet living on the bridge, resurrects him through inspired flights of imagination. As Daryl chronicles the history of the bridge and composes poems about it, he reads his work to his witty mistress, who prefers making love.
    Among other key characters is Lucien Redd, who as a boy was sexually brutalized by both Puritans and Cavaliers during the English Civil War before being kidnapped off London Bridge onto a merchant ship. Thus traumatized, he aspires to become Lucifer’s most evil disciple. Twenty years later, young Morgan Wood is forced into seafaring service to pay off his father’s debts; and, compelled by obsessive nostalgia for his early life on the bridge, he keeps a journal. Joining Morgan aboard ship, Lucien “befriends” him—to devastating effect.
    The shops and houses on the bridge survive both the Great Plague and Great Fire, believed to be God’s wrath upon sinful London. Fearing that God may next destroy the bridge and its eight hundred denizens, seven of its merchant leaders revert to a pagan appeasement ritual by selecting one of their virgin daughters for sacrifice. To enact their plan, they hire Lucien, who has returned to the bridge to burn it out of pure meanness. But as Lucien discovers, the chosen victim may be more Lucifer’s favorite than he is.
    Like his creation Daryl Braintree, David Madden employs diverse innovative ways to tell this complex, often shocking, but also lyrical story. The author of ten novels—including The Suicide’s Wife, Bijou, and most recently, Abducted by Circumstance and Sharpshooter—Madden has, with London Bridge in Plague and Fire, given us the most ambitious and imaginative work of his distinguished career.

[more]

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London Bridge in Plague and Fire
A Novel
David Madden
University of Tennessee Press
"I am still living on London Bridge myself. The world of this novel has merged with my life. Under Madden's pen, the web of human connection is woven over water, through space, and beyond time." —Allen Wier, author of Tehano

For more than two thousand years, Old London Bridge evolved through many fragile wooden forms until it became the first bridge built of stone since the Roman invaders. With over two hundred houses and shops built directly upon the bridge, it was a wonder of the world until it was dismantled in 1832.
    In this stunningly original novel, Old London Bridge is as much a living, breathing character as its architect, the priest Peter de Colechurch, who began work on it in 1176, partly to honor Archbishop Thomas à Becket, murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1665, the year of the Great Plague, Peter’s history is unknown, but Daryl Braintree, a young poet living on the bridge, resurrects him through inspired flights of imagination. As Daryl chronicles the history of the bridge and composes poems about it, he reads his work to his witty mistress, who prefers making love.
    Among other key characters is Lucien Redd, who as a boy was sexually brutalized by both Puritans and Cavaliers during the English Civil War before being kidnapped off London Bridge onto a merchant ship. Thus traumatized, he aspires to become Lucifer’s most evil disciple. Twenty years later, young Morgan Wood is forced into seafaring service to pay off his father’s debts; and, compelled by obsessive nostalgia for his early life on the bridge, he keeps a journal. Joining Morgan aboard ship, Lucien “befriends” him—to devastating effect.
    The shops and houses on the bridge survive both the Great Plague and Great Fire, believed to be God’s wrath upon sinful London. Fearing that God may next destroy the bridge and its eight hundred denizens, seven of its merchant leaders revert to a pagan appeasement ritual by selecting one of their virgin daughters for sacrifice. To enact their plan, they hire Lucien, who has returned to the bridge to burn it out of pure meanness. But as Lucien discovers, the chosen victim may be more Lucifer’s favorite than he is.
    Like his creation Daryl Braintree, David Madden employs diverse innovative ways to tell this complex, often shocking, but also lyrical story. The author of ten novels—including The Suicide’s Wife, Bijou, and most recently, Abducted by Circumstance and Sharpshooter—Madden has, with London Bridge in Plague and Fire, given us the most ambitious and imaginative work of his distinguished career.
[more]

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Man of Fire
Selected Writings
Ernesto Galarza, Edited by Armando Ibarra and Rodolfo D. Torres
University of Illinois Press, 2013
Activist, labor scholar, and organizer Ernesto Galarza (1905–1984) was a leading advocate for Mexican Americans and one of the most important Mexican American scholars and activists after World War II. This volume gathers Galarza's key writings, reflecting an intellectual rigor, conceptual clarity, and a constructive concern for the working class in the face of America's growing influence over Mexico's economic system.
 
Throughout his life, Galarza confronted and analyzed some of the most momentous social transformations of the twentieth century. Inspired by his youthful experience as a farm laborer in Sacramento, he dedicated his life to the struggle for justice for farm workers and urban working-class Latinos and helped build the first multiracial farm workers union, setting the foundation for the emergence of the United Farm Workers Union. He worked to change existing educational philosophies and curricula in schools, and his civil rights legacy includes the founding of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). In 1979, Galarza was the first U.S. Latino to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, for works such as Strangers in Our Fields, Merchants of Labor, Barrio Boy, and Tragedy at Chualar.
[more]

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Minds on Fire
Mark C. Carnes
Harvard University Press, 2014

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

In Minds on Fire, Mark C. Carnes shows how role-immersion games channel students’ competitive (and sometimes mischievous) impulses into transformative learning experiences. His discussion is based on interviews with scores of students and faculty who have used a pedagogy called Reacting to the Past, which features month-long games set during the French Revolution, Galileo’s trial, the partition of India, and dozens of other epochal moments in disciplines ranging from art history to the sciences. These games have spread to over three hundred campuses around the world, where many of their benefits defy expectations.

“[Minds on Fire is] Carnes’s beautifully written apologia for this fascinating and powerful approach to teaching and learning in higher education. If we are willing to open our minds and explore student-centered approaches like Reacting [to the Past], we might just find that the spark of student engagement we have been searching for in higher education’s mythical past can catch fire in the classrooms of the present.”
—James M. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education

“This book is a highly engaging and inspirational study of a ‘new’ technique that just might change the way educators bring students to learning in the 21st century.”
—D. D. Bouchard, Choice

[more]

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Ministers of Fire
A Novel
Mark Harril Saunders
Ohio University Press, 2012

Kabul, Afghanistan, 1979: CIA station chief Lucius Burling, an idealistic but flawed product of his nation’s intelligence establishment, barely survives the assassination of the American ambassador. Burling’s reaction to the murder, and his desire to understand its larger meaning, propel him on a journey of intrigue and betrayal that will reach its ultimate end in the streets of Shanghai, months after 9/11. A Chinese dissident physicist may (or may not) be planning to sell his country’s nuclear secrets, and in his story Burling, now living quietly as consul, recognizes the fingerprints of a covert operation, one without the obvious sanction of the Agency. The dissident’s escape draws the violent attention of the Chinese internal security service, and as Burling is drawn inexorably into their path, he must face the ghosts of his past misadventures and a present world of global trafficking, fragile alliances, and the human need for connection above all.

Reminiscent of the best work of Graham Greene and John le Carré, Ministers of Fire extends the spy thriller into new historical, political, and emotional territory.

[more]

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The Miracle of the Kent
A Tale of Courage, Faith, and Fire
Nicholas Tracy
Westholme Publishing, 2008
An Extraordinary Rescue and One of the Greatest Human Interest Stories of All Time

“A naturally gripping adventure tale.”—Publishers Weekly 
“Powerful and intensely focused.”—Booklist 
“Tracy's satisfying narrative constitutes the first modern account. A finely detailed maritime history.”—Kirkus Reviews

In 1825, the Kent, an East Indiaman, set sail from England for India with a crew and nearly 600 men, women, and children on board. North of Spain, the ship was slammed by a ferocious gale, and while a sailor was inspecting the hold for damage, his lantern ignited a cask of spirits. A fire quickly erupted, and even with the desperate expedient of opening hatches and flooding the ship, the fire burned out of control. As night wore on, the ship became an inferno, with the flames moving toward stores of gunpowder. At this point, everyone on board knew that they would perish, and they began preparing for their ghastly deaths. Despite the raging tempest a sailor climbed one last time to the top of the Kent’s mainmast and—miraculously—a sail was sighted on the horizon. It was the Cambria, a small brig on its way to Mexico. The Cambriaspied the burning Kentand through determination and dogged seamanship in towering seas, the little brig closed the doomed vessel. Launching their boats, the Kent’s and Cambria’s crews were able to transfer nearly all of the children, women, and men to the brig and pull away before the Kent exploded. Dangerously overloaded, the Cambriamade the Cornish coast three days later.
In The Miracle of the Kent: A Tale of Courage, Faith, and Fire, award-winning historian Nicholas Tracy reconstructs this extraordinary tale through records left by the participants, revealing how those aboard the Kent faced their deaths, and their reactions to being offered a second chance. The story of the Kentis both a page-turning adventure and an inspirational homage to the capacity of the human spirit.
[more]

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Mountains of Fire
The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes
Clive Oppenheimer
University of Chicago Press, 2023
Meeting with volcanoes around the world, a volcanologist interprets their messages for humankind.
 
In Mountains of Fire, Clive Oppenheimer invites readers to stand with him in the shadow of an active volcano. Whether he is scaling majestic summits, listening to hissing lava at the crater’s edge, or hunting for the far-flung ashes from Earth’s greatest eruptions, Oppenheimer is an ideal guide, offering readers the chance to tag along on the daring, seemingly-impossible journeys of a volcanologist.

In his eventful career as a volcanologist and filmmaker, Oppenheimer has studied volcanoes around the world. He has worked with scientists in North Korea to study Mount Paektu, a volcano name sung in national anthems on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone. He has crossed the Sahara to reach the fabled Tiéroko volcano in the Tibesti Mountains of Chad. He spent months camped atop Antarctica’s most active volcano, Mount Erebus, to record the pulse of its lava lake.

Mountains of Fire reveals how volcanic activity is entangled with our climate and environment, as well as our economy, politics, culture, and beliefs. These adventures and investigations make clear the dual purpose of volcanology—both to understand volcanoes for science’s sake and to serve the communities endangered and entranced by these mountains of fire. 
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The Ocean on Fire
Pacific Stories from Nuclear Survivors and Climate Activists
Anaïs Maurer
Duke University Press, 2024
Bombarded with the equivalent of one Hiroshima bomb a day for half a century, Pacific people have long been subjected to man-made cataclysm. Well before climate change became a global concern, nuclear testing brought about untimely death, widespread diseases, forced migration, and irreparable destruction to the shores of Oceania. In The Ocean on Fire, Anaïs Maurer analyzes the Pacific literature that incriminates the environmental racism behind radioactive skies and rising seas. Maurer identifies strategies of resistance uniting the region by analyzing an extensive multilingual archive of decolonial Pacific art in French, Spanish, English, Tahitian, and Uvean, ranging from literature to songs and paintings. She shows how Pacific nuclear survivors’ stories reveal an alternative vision of the apocalypse: instead of promoting individualism and survivalism, they advocate mutual assistance, cultural resilience, South-South transnational solidarities, and Indigenous women’s leadership. Drawing upon their experience resisting both nuclear colonialism and carbon imperialism, Pacific storytellers offer compelling narratives to nurture the land and each other in times of global environmental collapse.
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On Fire
Larry Schwarm
Duke University Press, 2003
Inaugural Winner
The Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman
First Book Prize in Photography

A startling, mesmerizing series of photographs of prairie fires, On Fire transports us from moments of almost apocalyptic splendor to the stillness of near abstraction. For over a decade Kansas-based photographer Larry Schwarm has been making extraordinary color photographs of the dramatic prairie fires that sweep across the vast grasslands of his native state each spring. Based on this stunning and extensive body of work, Schwarm was chosen from over 500 submissions as the inaugural winner of the CDS/Honickman Foundation First Book Prize in Photography. With publication of On Fire, Duke University Press, in association with the Center for Documentary Studies and The Honickman Foundation, launches this major biennial book prize for American photographers.

Fire is an essential element of the ecosystem. Every spring, the expanses of tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas undergo controlled burning. For photographer Larry Schwarm, documenting these fires has become a passion. He captures the essence of the fires and their distinct personalities—ranging from calm and lyrical to angry and raging. His photos allow us to see the redemptive power of fire and to remove ourselves from its tragic elements. Through Schwarm’s lens, the horizon takes on new meaning as we view the sublime, mystical, and sensual character of the burning landscape. Schwarm connects the enormous power and devastation of fire to what can only be identified as another kind of creation—the creation of beauty.

Published by Duke University Press in association with Lyndhurst Books of the Center for Documentary Studies

To view images from the book, please visit http://cds.aas.duke.edu/books/fire.html

The Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is open to American photographers who use their cameras for creative exploration, whether it be of places, people, or communities; of the natural or social world; of beauty at large or the lack of it; of objective or subjective realities. Information and guidelines about the prize are available at http://cds.aas.duke.edu/grants

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Origen
Spirit and Fire
Hans Urs von Balthasar
Catholic University of America Press, 1984

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Painting with Fire
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Photography, and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object
Matthew C. Hunter
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Painting with Fire shows how experiments with chemicals known to change visibly over the course of time transformed British pictorial arts of the long eighteenth century—and how they can alter our conceptions of photography today. As early as the 1670s, experimental philosophers at the Royal Society of London had studied the visual effects of dynamic combustibles. By the 1770s, chemical volatility became central to the ambitious paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds, premier portraitist and first president of Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts. Valued by some critics for changing in time (and thus, for prompting intellectual reflection on the nature of time), Reynolds’s unstable chemistry also prompted new techniques of chemical replication among Matthew Boulton, James Watt, and other leading industrialists. In turn, those replicas of chemically decaying academic paintings were rediscovered in the mid-nineteenth century and claimed as origin points in the history of photography.

Tracing the long arc of chemically produced and reproduced art from the 1670s through the 1860s, the book reconsiders early photography by situating it in relationship to Reynolds’s replicated paintings and the literal engines of British industry. By following the chemicals, Painting with Fire remaps familiar stories about academic painting and pictorial experiment amid the industrialization of chemical knowledge.
 
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Paths of Fire
The Gun and the World It Made
Andrew Nahum
Reaktion Books, 2021
Type “Mikhail Kalashnikov” into Google and the biography of the inventor will come back to you almost at the speed of light. Squeeze the trigger of a Kalashnikov and a bullet is kicked up the barrel by an archaic chemical explosion that would have been quite familiar to Oliver Cromwell or General Custer. The gun—antique, yet contemporary—still dominates the world. Geopolitical events and even consumer culture have been molded by the often-unseen research that firearms evoked. The new science of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton owed much to the Renaissance study of ballistics. But research into making guns and aiming them also brought on the more recent invention of mass production and kickstarted the contemporary field of artificial intelligence. This book follows the history of the gun and its often-unsuspected wider linkages, looking from the first cannons to modern gunnery, and to the yet-to-be-realized electrical futures of rays and beams.
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Persecution, Plague, and Fire
Fugitive Histories of the Stage in Early Modern England
Ellen MacKay
University of Chicago Press, 2011

The theater of early modern England was a disastrous affair. The scant record of its performance demonstrates as much, for what we tend to remember today of the Shakespearean stage and its history are landmark moments of dissolution: the burning down of the Globe, the forced closure of playhouses during outbreaks of the plague, and the abolition of the theater by its Cromwellian opponents.

          

 Persecution, Plague, and Fire is a study of these catastrophes and the theory of performance they convey. Ellen MacKay argues that the various disasters that afflicted the English theater during its golden age were no accident but the promised end of a practice built on disappearance and erasure—a kind of fatal performance that left nothing behind but its self-effacing poetics. Bringing together dramatic theory, performance studies, and theatrical, religious, and cultural history, MacKay reveals the period’s radical take on the history and the future of the stage to show just how critical the relation was between early modern English theater and its public.

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A Pillar of Fire to Follow
American Indian Dramas, 1808–1859
Priscilla Sears
University of Wisconsin Press, 1982
A Pillar of Fire to Follow concerns the Indian dramas, a series of popular, nineteenth-century American melodramas that deal with the interaction of Indians and Anglo-Europeans. Priscilla Sears has analyzed these works from a mythological point of view, concentrating on the myths of Indian and Anglo-European identity and destiny and the ways in which they relieve the guilt emanating from contemporary Indian policy and the symbolic betrayal of fathers.
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Playing With Fire
Feminist Thought And Activism Through Seven Lives In India
Sangtin Sangtin Writers
University of Minnesota Press, 2006
Seven voices contribute to this rare glimpse of the work being done on the front lines of the fight for social change in India. Playing with Fire is written in the collective voice of women employed by a large NGO as activists in their communities and is based on diaries, interviews, and conversations among them. Together their personal stories reveal larger themes and questions of sexism, casteism, and communalism, and a startling picture emerges of how NGOs both nourish and stifle local struggles for solidarity. The Hindi edition of the book, Sangtin Yatra, published in 2004, created controversy that resulted in backlash against the authors by their employer. The publication also drew support for the women and instigated a public conversation about the issues exposed in the book. Here, Richa Nagar addresses the dispute in the context of the politics of NGOs and feminist theory, articulating how development ideology employed by aid organizations serves to reinforce the domination of those it claims to help. The Sangtin Writers, Anupamlata, Ramsheela, Reshma Ansari, Richa Singh, Shashibala, Shashi Vaish, Surbala, and Vibha Bajpayee, are grassroots activists and members of a small organization called Sangtin in Uttar Pradesh, India. Richa Nagar teaches women’s studies at the University of Minnesota.
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The Prince Of Fire
Radmila Gorup
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998

Winner of the 1998 Misha Djordjevic Award for the best book on Serbian culture in English.

Editors Gorup and Obradovic have collected stories from thirty-five outstanding writers in this first English anthology of Serbian fiction in thirty years. The anthology, representing a great variety of literary styles and themes, includes works by established writers with international reputations, as well as promising new writers spanning the generation born between 1930 and 1960.  These stories may lead to a greater understanding of the current events in the former Yugoslavia.

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Ricky's Atlas
Mapping a Land on Fire
Li
Oregon State University Press, 2016
American Association for the Advancement of Science / Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Best Hands-On Science Book 2017

In this sequel to Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell, Ricky Zamora brings his love of map-making and his boundless curiosity to the arid landscapes east of the Cascades Mountains.  He arrives during a wild thunderstorm, and watches his family and their neighbors scramble to deal with a wildfire sparked by lightning. Joined by his friend Ellie, he sees how plants, animals, and people adjust to life with wildfires. 
 
While hiking across a natural prairie, climbing up a fire tower, and studying historical photos and maps, Ricky and Ellie learn about the role of fire in shaping the landscape of the semi-arid plateau east of the mountains. They experience the scary days of wildfire in progress, explore a gritty site after a wildfire, and discover how some plants and animals depend on fire to survive.
 
Color pen-and-ink drawings accompany the text and vividly illustrate plants, animals, and events encountered in this exciting summer adventure. With his friend Ellie, Ricky creates a brightly colored diary of the fire, with maps, timelines, and sketches of what they see in this fire-prone land.  Ricky’s notebook about his summer visit to his uncle’s ranch becomes an atlas of fire ecology, weather patterns, and life in the rain shadow.
 
Upper elementary kids will enjoy the mixture of amazing adventures with actual historical, physical, and ecological data about the region.  Woven into the story are the small pleasures of ranch life, intriguing histories of Native Americans and early settlers, and almost unbelievable views of ancient fossils.  Ricky and Ellie’s explorations, accompanied by their hand-written notes, introduce readers to a very special landscape and history east of the mountains.
 
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Running to the Fire
An American Missionary Comes of Age in Revolutionary Ethiopia
Tim Bascom
University of Iowa Press, 2015
In the streets of Addis Ababa in 1977, shop-front posters illustrate Uncle Sam being strangled by an Ethiopian revolutionary, parliamentary leaders are executed, student protesters are gunned down, and Christian mission converts are targeted as imperialistic sympathizers. Into this world arrives sixteen-year-old Tim Bascom, whose missionary parents have brought their family from a small town in Kansas straight into Colonel Mengistu’s Marxist “Red Terror.” Here they plan to work alongside a tiny remnant of western missionaries who trust that God will somehow keep them safe.

Running to the Fire focuses on the turbulent year the Bascom family experienced upon traveling into revolutionary Ethiopia. The teenage Bascom finds a paradoxical exhilaration in living so close to constant danger. At boarding school in Addis Ababa, where dorm parents demand morning devotions and forbid dancing, Bascom bonds with other youth due to a shared sense of threat.  He falls in love for the first time, but the young couple is soon separated by the politics that affect all their lives. Across the country, missionaries are being held under house arrest while communist cadres seize their hospitals and schools. A friend’s father is imprisoned as a suspected CIA agent; another is killed by raiding Somalis.

Throughout, the teenaged Bascom struggles with his faith and his role within the conflict as a white American Christian missionary’s child. Reflecting back as an adult, he explores the historical, cultural, and religious contexts that led to this conflict, even though in doing so he is forced to ask himself questions that are easier left alone. Why, he wonders, did he find such strange fulfillment in being young and idealistic in the middle of what was essentially a kind of holy war?
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Sand and Fire
Exploring a Rare Pine Barrens Landscape
Dave Peters
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2023
The human and natural history of a fragile Midwestern landscape 

While many people are familiar with the federally protected St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers of northwestern Wisconsin, few know about the Namekagon Barrens, a rare pine barrens landscape within a few miles of their confluence. A tiny remnant of the millions of barrens acres that once covered the region, the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area lies in the heart of the state’s Northwest Sands, a band of pine and oak stretching from Bayfield on Lake Superior to St. Croix Falls on the Wisconsin–Minnesota border. Unfathomable amounts of glacial sand and repeated fires over thousands of years shaped a land of scrub oak and jack pine, blueberries and sweet fern, creating an ideal habitat for wolves and sharp-tailed grouse. 

Just as compelling is the land’s rich human history, from Paleo-Indian hunters to Ojibwe berry pickers, loggers to early road builders, and immigrants whose farming efforts failed to the wildlife habitat specialists who manage it today. The book, told in memoir style and featuring color photographs by the author, sets the land’s unusual natural history as the backdrop for a multilayered story about the impact of people on this vulnerable landscape.
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The Seasons Of Fire
Reflections On Fire In The West
David J. Strohmaier
University of Nevada Press, 2001

Fire is a fearsome constant in the America West. As the author David J. Strohmaier notes, "Whether we have tended a campfire along Oregon's Deschutes River in March, engaged the advancing front of a Great Basin wildfire in the torrid heat of August, or watched fire settle into the subdued, smoldering leaf piles of October, all of our lives, to one degree or another, are bracketed by fire." In The Seasons of Fire, Strohmaier effectively blends nature writing, personal essay, and philosophical analysis as he deliberately crosses disciplinary boundaries. He discusses the "moral" dimensions of fire—not only whether fires are good, bad, or indifferent phenomena, but also how fire, more generally understood, shapes meaning for human life. The consequences of discussing the moral side of fire speak directly to the contours of the human soul, and to our sense of our place on the land. Strohmaier, a long-term firefighter himself, includes accurate and sometimes gut-wrenching descriptions of the firefighter's experience.
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Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings
Emilie Du Châtelet
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Though most historians remember her as the mistress of Voltaire, Emilie Du Châtelet (1706–49) was an accomplished writer in her own right, who published multiple editions of her scientific writings during her lifetime, as well as a translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica that is still the standard edition of that work in French. Had she been a man, her reputation as a member of the eighteenth-century French intellectual elite would have been assured.

In the 1970s, feminist historians of science began the slow work of recovering Du Châtelet’s writings and her contributions to history and philosophy. For this edition, Judith P. Zinsser has selected key sections from Du Châtelet’s published and unpublished works, as well as related correspondence, part of her little-known critique of the Old and New Testaments, and a treatise on happiness that is a refreshingly uncensored piece of autobiography—making all of them available for the first time in English. The resulting volume will recover Châtelet’s place in the pantheon of French letters and culture. 

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Setting the Lawn on Fire
A Novel
Mack Friedman
University of Wisconsin Press, 2007

Setting the Lawn on Fire, the first novel by critically acclaimed writer Mack Friedman, trails its narrator through his obsessions with sex, drugs, art, and poison. Ivan, a young Jewish boy from Milwaukee, embarks on a journey of sexual discovery that leads him from Wisconsin to Alaska, Philadelphia, and Mexico through stints as a fishery worker, artist, and finally a hustler who learns to provide the blank canvas for other people’s dreams. The result is a new kind of coming-of-age story that sees passion from every angle because its protagonist is every kind of lover: the seducer and the seduced, the pornographer and the model, the hunter and the prey, the trick and the john. In the end, Setting the Lawn on Fire is also something rare—a fully realized, contemporary romance that illuminates the power of desire and the rituals of the body, the brain, and the heart that attempt to contain our passions.

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The Sky on Fire
The First Battle of Britain, 1917-1918
Raymond H. Fredette
University of Alabama Press, 2005
A fascinating examination of the strategies and uses of air power in the First World War, Sky on Fire covers not only developments in military hardware and tactics but also how public policy and political considerations shaped the ways air power was deployed. Providing an excellent balance of data and statistics as well as human insights, Fredette’s book is essential reading for readers interested in the air power, both historically and in contemporary conflicts.
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Smoke, Flames, and the Human Body in Mesoamerican Ritual Practice
Vera Tiesler
Harvard University Press

Epitomizing the radiating sun and perpetuating the cycles of life and time, fire was—and continues to be—a central force in the Mesoamerican cosmos. Mesoamericans understood heat and flames as animate forces that signified strength and vitality; the most powerful of individuals were embodied with immense heat. Moreover, fire was transformative: it was a means to destroy offerings as well as to transport offerings to otherworldly places. The importance of heat and flames is evident in a spectrum of ritual practices, ranging from the use of sweat baths to the burning of offerings. Human bodies were among the most valuable resources heated or consumed by fire.

This volume addresses the traditions, circumstances, and practices that involved the burning of bodies and bone, to move toward a better understanding of the ideologies behind these acts. It brings together scholars working across Mesoamerica who approach these dual themes (fire and the body) with different methodologies and interdisciplinary lenses. Each contributor illuminates the deeper levels of Mesoamerican ritual practice in light of these themes, while highlighting what is unique to each of the societies that shared Mesoamerican territories.

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The Tenant of Fire
Poems
Ryan Black
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019
Winner of the 2019 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

The Tenant of Fire is about Queens, NY—its history, public and personal, real and imagined. Many of the people who populate this book—Irish Catholics, Italian-Americans—were once considered ethnic but now fall wholly under the banner of white. And from their anxieties a man like Donald Trump emerges. Born and raised in Queens, Trump is both the product and purveyor of a localized nativist politic.

The young white speaker of these poems works to record his parents’ and neighbors’, both white and of color, and his own attempts at navigating a shifting landscape. In poems on the homecoming of Vietnam vets, or the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or the firebombing of Malcolm X’s house, The Tenant of Fire explores how and why the plurality of a place like Queens, where now nearly two hundred languages are spoken, is viewed as a threat to national security.

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Voices of Fire
Reweaving the Literary Lei of Pele and Hi'iaka
ku'ualoha ho'omanawanui
University of Minnesota Press, 2014

Stories of the volcano goddess Pele and her youngest sister Hi‘iaka, patron of hula, are most familiar as a form of literary colonialism—first translated by missionary descendants and others, then co-opted by Hollywood and the tourist industry. But far from quaint tales for amusement, the Pele and Hi‘iaka literature published between the 1860s and 1930 carried coded political meaning for the Hawaiian people at a time of great upheaval. Voices of Fire recovers the lost and often-suppressed significance of this literature, restoring it to its primary place in Hawaiian culture.

Ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui takes up mo‘olelo (histories, stories, narratives), mele (poetry, songs), oli (chants), and hula (dances) as they were conveyed by dozens of authors over a tumultuous sixty-eight-year period characterized by population collapse, land alienation, economic exploitation, and military occupation. Her examination shows how the Pele and Hi‘iaka legends acted as a framework for a Native sense of community. Freeing the mo‘olelo and mele from colonial stereotypes and misappropriations, Voices of Fire establishes a literary mo‘okū‘auhau, or genealogy, that provides a view of the ancestral literature in its indigenous contexts.

The first book-length analysis of Pele and Hi‘iaka literature written by a Native Hawaiian scholar, Voices of Fire compellingly lays the groundwork for a larger conversation of Native American literary nationalism.

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Walking on Fire
The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama
Jim Linnell
Southern Illinois University Press, 2011
In this bold new way of looking at dramatic structure, Jim Linnell establishes the central role of emotional experience in the conception, execution, and reception of plays. Walking on Fire: The Shaping Force of Emotion in Writing Drama examines dramatic texts through the lens of human behavior to identify the joining of event and emotion in a narrative, defined by Linnell as emotional form.Effectively building on philosophy, psychology, and critical theory in ways useful to both scholars and practitioners, Linnell unfolds the concept of emotional form as the key to understanding the central shaping force of drama. He highlights the Dionysian force of human emotion in the writer as the genesis for creative work and articulates its power to determine narrative outcomes and audience reaction.Walking on Fire contains writing exercises to open up playwrights to the emotional realities and challenges of their work. Additionally, each chapter offers case studies of traditional and nonlinear plays in the known canon that allow readers to evaluate the construction of these works and the authors’ practices and intentions through an xamination of the emotional form embedded in the central characters’ language, thoughts, and behaviors. The plays discussed include Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Athol Fugard’s “MASTER HAROLD”. . .and the boys, Donald Margulies’s The Loman Family Picnic, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America

Walking on Fire
opens up new conversations about content and emotion for writers and offers exciting answers to the questions of why we make drama and why we connect to it. Linnell’s userfriendly theory and passionate approach create a framework for understanding the links between the writer’s work in creating the text, the text itself, and the audience’s engagement.
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When the Center Is on Fire
Passionate Social Theory for Our Times
By Diane Harriford and Becky Thompson
University of Texas Press, 2008

In this lively and provocative book, two feminist public sociologists turn to classical social thinkers—W. E. B. Du Bois, Max Weber, Karl Marx, and Émile Durkheim—to understand a series of twenty-first century social traumas, including the massacre at Columbine High School, the 9/11 attacks, the torture at Abu Ghraib prison, and Hurricane Katrina. Each event was overwhelming in its own right, while the relentless pace at which they occurred made it nearly impossible to absorb and interpret them in any but the most superficial ways. Yet, each uncovered social problems that cry out for our understanding and remediation.

In When the Center Is on Fire, Becky Thompson and Diane Harriford assert that classical social theorists grappled with the human condition in ways that remain profoundly relevant. They show, for example, that the loss of "double consciousness" that Du Bois identified in African Americans enabled political elites to turn a blind eye to the poverty and vulnerability of many of New Orleans's citizens. The authors' compelling, sometimes irreverent, often searing interpretations make this book essential reading for students, activists, generations X, Y, and Z, and everybody bored by the 6 o'clock news.

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When They Hid the Fire
A History of Electricity and Invisible Energy in America
Daniel French
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
When They Hid the Fire examines the American social perceptions of electricity as an energy technology that were adopted between the mid-nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries. Arguing that both technical and cultural factors played a role, Daniel French shows how electricity became an invisible and abstract form of energy in American society. As technological advancements allowed for an increasing physical distance between power generation and power consumption, the commodity of electricity became consciously detached from the environmentally destructive fire and coal that produced it. This development, along with cultural forces, led the public to define electricity as mysterious, utopian, and an alternative to nearby fire-based energy sources. With its adoption occurring simultaneously with Progressivism and consumerism, electricity use was encouraged and seen as an integral part of improvement and modernity, leading Americans to culturally construct electricity as unlimited and environmentally inconsequential—a newfound “basic right” of life in the United States.
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While Rome Burned
Fire, Leadership, and Urban Disaster in the Roman Cultural Imagination
Virginia M. Closs
University of Michigan Press, 2020
While Rome Burned attends to the intersection of fire, city, and emperor in ancient Rome, tracing the critical role that urban conflagration played as both reality and metaphor in the politics and literature of the early imperial period. Urban fires presented a consistent problem for emperors from Augustus to Hadrian, especially given the expectation that the princeps be both a protector and provider for Rome’s population. The problem manifested itself differently for each leader, and each sought to address it in distinctive ways. This history can be traced most precisely in Roman literature, as authors addressed successive moments of political crisis through dialectical engagement with prior incendiary catastrophes in Rome’s historical past and cultural repertoire.

Working in the increasingly repressive environment of the early principate, Roman authors frequently employed “figured” speech and mythopoetic narratives to address politically risky topics. In response to shifting political and social realities, the literature of the early imperial period reimagines and reanimates not just historical fires, but also archetypal and mythic representations of conflagration. Throughout, the author engages critically with the growing subfield of disaster studies, as well as with theoretical approaches to language, allusion, and cultural memory.
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With Fire and Sword
Arkansas, 1861-1874
Thomas A. Deblack
University of Arkansas Press, 2003

When Arkansas seceded from the Union in 1861, it was a thriving state. But the Civil War and Reconstruction left it reeling, impoverished, and so deeply divided that it never regained the level of prosperity it had previously enjoyed. Although most of the major battles of the war occurred elsewhere, Arkansas was critical to the Confederate war effort in the vast Trans-Mississippi region, and Arkansas soldiers served—some for the Union and more for the Confederacy—in every major theater of the war. And the war within the state was devastating. Union troops occupied various areas, citizens suffered greatly from the war’s economic disruption, and guerilla conflict and factional tensions left a bitter legacy. Reconstruction was in many ways a continuation of the war as the prewar elite fought to regain economic and political power.

In this, the fourth volume in the Histories of Arkansas series, Thomas DeBlack not only describes the major players and events in this dramatic and painful story, but also explores the experiences of ordinary people. Although the historical evidence is complex—and much of the secondary literature is extraordinarily partisan—DeBlack offers a balanced, vivid overview of the state’s most tumultuous period.

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Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things
What Categories Reveal about the Mind
George Lakoff
University of Chicago Press, 1987
"Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal."—David E. Leary, American Scientist
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The World of Juliette Kinzie
Chicago before the Fire
Ann Durkin Keating
University of Chicago Press, 2019
When Juliette Kinzie first visited Chicago in 1831, it was anything but a city. An outpost in the shadow of Fort Dearborn, it had no streets, no sidewalks, no schools, no river-spanning bridges. And with two hundred disconnected residents, it lacked any sense of community. In the decades that followed, not only did Juliette witness the city’s transition from Indian country to industrial center, but she was instrumental in its development.

Juliette is one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city,” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors. With The World of Juliette Kinzie, we finally get to experience the rise of Chicago from the view of one of its most important founding mothers.

Ann Durkin Keating, one of the foremost experts on nineteenth-century Chicago, offers a moving portrait of a trailblazing and complicated woman. Keating takes us to the corner of Cass and Michigan (now Wabash and Hubbard), Juliette’s home base. Through Juliette’s eyes, our understanding of early Chicago expands from a city of boosters and speculators to include the world that women created in and between households. We see the development of Chicago society, first inspired by cities in the East and later coming into its own midwestern ways. We also see the city become a community, as it developed its intertwined religious, social, educational, and cultural institutions. Keating draws on a wealth of sources, including hundreds of Juliette’s personal letters, allowing Juliette to tell much of her story in her own words.

Juliette’s death in 1870, just a year before the infamous fire, seemed almost prescient. She left her beloved Chicago right before the physical city as she knew it vanished in flames. But now her history lives on. The World of Juliette Kinzie offers a new perspective on Chicago’s past and is a fitting tribute to one of the first women historians in the United States.
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The World of Juliette Kinzie
Chicago before the Fire
Ann Durkin Keating
University of Chicago Press, 2019
This is an auto-narrated audiobook edition of this book.

When Juliette Kinzie first visited Chicago in 1831, it was anything but a city. An outpost in the shadow of Fort Dearborn, it had no streets, no sidewalks, no schools, no river-spanning bridges. And with two hundred disconnected residents, it lacked any sense of community. In the decades that followed, not only did Juliette witness the city’s transition from Indian country to industrial center, but she was instrumental in its development.

Juliette is one of Chicago’s forgotten founders. Early Chicago is often presented as “a man’s city,” but women like Juliette worked to create an urban and urbane world, often within their own parlors. With The World of Juliette Kinzie, we finally get to experience the rise of Chicago from the view of one of its most important founding mothers.

Ann Durkin Keating, one of the foremost experts on nineteenth-century Chicago, offers a moving portrait of a trailblazing and complicated woman. Keating takes us to the corner of Cass and Michigan (now Wabash and Hubbard), Juliette’s home base. Through Juliette’s eyes, our understanding of early Chicago expands from a city of boosters and speculators to include the world that women created in and between households. We see the development of Chicago society, first inspired by cities in the East and later coming into its own midwestern ways. We also see the city become a community, as it developed its intertwined religious, social, educational, and cultural institutions. Keating draws on a wealth of sources, including hundreds of Juliette’s personal letters, allowing Juliette to tell much of her story in her own words.

Juliette’s death in 1870, just a year before the infamous fire, seemed almost prescient. She left her beloved Chicago right before the physical city as she knew it vanished in flames. But now her history lives on. The World of Juliette Kinzie offers a new perspective on Chicago’s past and is a fitting tribute to one of the first women historians in the United States.
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A World On Fire
Sharing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with Other Religions
Erin M. Cline
Catholic University of America Press, 2018
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola give shape to the spiritual lives of Jesuits and many other Christians. But might these different ways of praying, meditating, and reading scripture be helpful to members of other faiths as well? In response to the call of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the thirtieth Superior General of the Jesuits (2008-2016) to explore how the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises can be fruitfully appropriated by non-Christians, A World on Fire analyzes the prospects for adapting the Spiritual Exercises in order to make them accessible to members of other faith traditions while still maintaining their core meaning and integrity.

Erin Cline examines why this ought to be done, for whom, and what the aims of such an adaptation would be, including the different theological justifications for this practice. She concludes that there are compelling reasons for sharing the Exercises with members of other religions and that doing so coheres with the central mission of the Jesuits. A World on Fire goes on to examine the question of how the Exercises can be faithfully adapted for members of other religions. In outlining adaptations for the Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions that draw upon the traditional content of the Exercises supplemented by the texts of these religious traditions, Cline shows how Ignatian spirituality can help point the way to a different kind of inter-religious dialogue – one that is not bound up in technical terminology or confined to conversations between theologians and religious leaders. Rather, in making the Spriitual Exercises accessible to members of other faith traditions, we are as Pope Francis puts it, “living on a frontier, one in which the Gospel meets the needs of the people to whom it should be proclaimed in an understandable and meaningful way.”

A World on Fire will be of interest to comparative theologians and scholars working on inter-religious dialogue, religious pluralism, contemplative studies, and spirituality, as well as Jesuit priests and other practitioners who employ the Spiritual Exercises in their ministry.
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Young Men and Fire
Norman Maclean
University of Chicago Press, 1992
On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service's elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts back together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy.

Young Men and Fire won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.

"A magnificent drama of writing, a tragedy that pays tribute to the dead and offers rescue to the living.... Maclean's search for the truth, which becomes an exploration of his own mortality, is more compelling even than his journey into the heart of the fire. His description of the conflagration terrifies, but it is his battle with words, his effort to turn the story of the 13 men into tragedy that makes this book a classic."—from New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, Best Books of 1992

"A treasure: part detective story, part western, part tragedy, part elegy and wholly eloquent ghost story in which the dead and the living join ranks cheerfully, if sometimes eerily, in a search for truth and the rest it brings."—Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune

"An astonishing book. In compelling language, both homely and elegant, Young Men and Fire miraculously combines a fascinating primer on fires and firefighting, a powerful, breathtakingly real reconstruction of a tragedy, and a meditation on writing, grief and human character.... Maclean's last book will stir your heart and haunt your memory."—Timothy Foote, USA Today

"Beautiful.... A dark American idyll of which the language can be proud."—Robert M. Adams, The New York Review of Books

"Young Men and Fire is redolent of Melville. Just as the reader of Moby Dick comes to comprehend the monstrous entirety of the great white whale, so the reader of Young Men and Fire goes into the heart of the great red fire and comes out thoroughly informed. Don't hesitate to take the plunge."—Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

"Young Men and Fire is a somber and poetic retelling of a tragic event. It is the pinnacle of smokejumping literature and a classic work of 20th-century nonfiction."—John Holkeboer, The Wall Street Journal

"Maclean is always with the brave young dead. . . . They could not have found a storyteller with a better claim to represent their honor. . . . A great book."—James R. Kincaid, New York Times Book Review
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Young Men and Fire
Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition
Norman Maclean
University of Chicago Press, 2017
A devastating and lyrical work of nonfiction, Young Men and Fire describes the events of August 5, 1949, when a crew of fifteen of the US Forest Service’s elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of the men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy in Young Men and Fire, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Alongside Maclean’s now-canonical A River Runs through It and Other Stories, Young Men and Fire is recognized today as a classic of the American West. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Maclean’s later triumph—the last book he would writeincludes a powerful new foreword by Timothy Egan, author of The Big Burn and The Worst Hard Time. As moving and profound as when it was first published, Young Men and Fire honors the literary legacy of a man who gave voice to an essential corner of the American soul.
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