front cover of On Borrowed Time
On Borrowed Time
The Art and Economy of Living with Deadlines
Harald Weinrich
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Life is short. This indisputable fact of existence has driven human ingenuity since antiquity, whether through efforts to lengthen our lives with medicine or shorten the amount of time we spend on work using technology. Alongside this struggle to manage the pressure of life’s ultimate deadline, human perception of the passage and effects of time has also changed. In On Borrowed Time, Harald Weinrich examines an extraordinary range of materials—from Hippocrates to Run Lola Run—to put forth a new conception of time and its limits that, unlike older models, is firmly grounded in human experience.
            Weinrich’s analysis of the roots of the word time connects it to the temples of the skull, demonstrating that humans first experienced time in the beating of their pulses. Tracing this corporeal perception of time across literary, religious, and philosophical works, Weinrich concludes that time functions as a kind of sixth sense—the crucial sense that enables the other five.
            Written with Weinrich’s customary narrative elegance, On Borrowed Time is an absorbing—and, fittingly, succinct—meditation on life’s inexorable brevity.

front cover of On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry
On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry
Brian Drayton
QuakerPress, 2006

front cover of On Living with Television
On Living with Television
Amy Holdsworth
Duke University Press, 2021
In On Living with Television, Amy Holdsworth examines the characteristics of intimacy, familiarity, repetition, and duration that have come to exemplify the medium of television. Drawing on feminist television studies, queer theory, and disability studies as well as autobiographical life-writing practices, Holdsworth shows how television shapes everyday activities, from eating and sleeping to driving and homemaking. Recounting her own life with television, she offers a sense of the joys and pleasures Disney videos brought to her disabled sister, traces how bedtime television becomes part of a daily routine between child and caregiver, explores her own relationship to binge-eating and binge-viewing, and considers the idea of home through the BBC family drama Last Tango in Halifax. By foregrounding the ways in which television structures our relationships, daily routines, and sense of time, Holdsworth demonstrates how television emerges as a potent vehicle for writing about life.

front cover of On the Fireline
On the Fireline
Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters
Matthew Desmond
University of Chicago Press, 2007

In this rugged account of a rugged profession, Matthew Desmond explores the heart and soul of the wildland firefighter. Having joined a firecrew in Northern Arizona as a young man, Desmond relates his experiences with intimate knowledge and native ease, adroitly balancing emotion with analysis and action with insight. On the Fireline shows that these firefighters aren’t the adrenaline junkies or romantic heroes as they’re so often portrayed.

An immersion into a dangerous world, On the Fireline is also a sophisticated analysis of a high-risk profession—and a captivating read.

“Gripping . . . a masterful account of how young men are able to face down wildfire, and why they volunteer for such an enterprise in the first place.”—David Grazian, Sociological Forum

“Along with the risks and sorrow, Desmond also presents the humor and comaraderie of ordinary men performing extraordinary tasks. . . . A good complement to Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire. Recommended.”—Library Journal


front cover of Over There
Over There
Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present
Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
Over There explores the social impact of America’s global network of more than 700 military bases. It does so by examining interactions between U.S. soldiers and members of host communities in the three locations—South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, and West Germany—where more than-two thirds of American overseas bases and troops have been concentrated for the past six decades. The essays in this collection highlight the role of cultural and racial assumptions in the maintenance of the American military base system, and the ways that civil-military relations play out locally. Describing how political, spatial, and social arrangements shape relations between American garrisons and surrounding communities, they emphasize such factors as whether military bases are located in democratic nations or in authoritarian countries where cooperation with dictatorial regimes fuels resentment; whether bases are integrated into neighboring communities or isolated and surrounded by “camp towns” wholly dependent on their business; and whether the United States sends single soldiers without families on one-year tours of duty or soldiers who bring their families and serve longer tours. Analyzing the implications of these and other situations, the contributors address U.S. military–regulated relations between GIs and local women; the roles of American women, including military wives, abroad; local resistance to the U.S. military presence; and racism, sexism, and homophobia within the U.S. military. Over There is an essential examination of the American military as a global and transnational phenomenon.

Donna Alvah
Chris Ames
Jeff Bennett
Maria Höhn
Seungsook Moon
Christopher Nelson
Robin Riley
Michiko Takeuchi


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