In 1890 Abraham Lincoln’s two main White House secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, published the ten-volume biography Abraham Lincoln: A History. Although the authors witnessed the daily events occurring within the executive mansion and the national Capitol, their lengthy biography is more a recounting of the Civil War era than a study of Lincoln’s life.
Editor Michael Burlingame sifted through the original forty-seven-hundred-page work and selected only the personal observations of the secretaries during the Lincoln presidency, placing ten excerpts in chronological order in Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay. The result is an important collection of Nicolay and Hay’s interpretations of Lincoln’s character, actions, and reputation, framed by Burlingame’s compelling preface, introduction, chapter introductions, and notes. The volume provides vivid descriptions of such events as Election Day in 1860, the crisis at Fort Sumter, the first major battle of the war at Bull Run, and Lincoln’s relationship with Edwin Stanton and George McClellan.
In this clear and captivating new work, Burlingame has made key portions of Nicolay and Hay’s immense biography available to a wide audience of today’s readers.
In The Bottom Line, one of the foremost sports economists writing today, Andrew Zimbalist (National Pastime), analyzes the "net value" of sports. He examines motives for why owners buy franchises, the worth of the players and the profitability of teams, and the importance of publicly funded stadiums. In the essays collected here—which appeared in publications like The New York Times, Sports Business Journal, and The Wall Street Journal from 1998-2006—Zimbalist considers the current state of organized sports, from football and baseball to basketball, hockey, and soccer. He also addresses antitrust and labor relations issues, gender equity concerns, collegiate athletics, and the regulation of steroid use, providing readers with a better understanding of the business of sports and the sports business—and what makes both tick.
Though efforts to understand human-caused climate change have intensified in recent decades, weather observers have been paying close attention to changes in climate for centuries. This book offers a close look at that work as it was practiced in Canada since colonial times. Victoria C. Slonosky shows how weather observers throughout Canada who had been trained in the scientific tradition inherited from their European forebears built a scientific community and amassed a remarkable body of detailed knowledge about Canada’s climate and its fluctuations, all rooted in firsthand observation. Covering work by early French and British observers, the book presents excerpts from weather diaries and other records that, more than the climate itself, reveal colonial attitudes toward it.
Earthquakes have taught us much about our planet’s hidden structure and the forces that have shaped it. This knowledge rests not only on the recordings of seismographs but also on the observations of eyewitnesses to destruction. During the nineteenth century, a scientific description of an earthquake was built of stories—stories from as many people in as many situations as possible. Sometimes their stories told of fear and devastation, sometimes of wonder and excitement.
In The Earthquake Observers, Deborah R. Coen acquaints readers not only with the century’s most eloquent seismic commentators, including Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Karl Kraus, Ernst Mach, John Muir, and William James, but also with countless other citizen-observers, many of whom were women. Coen explains how observing networks transformed an instant of panic and confusion into a field for scientific research, turning earthquakes into natural experiments at the nexus of the physical and human sciences. Seismology abandoned this project of citizen science with the introduction of the Richter Scale in the 1930s, only to revive it in the twenty-first century in the face of new hazards and uncertainties. The Earthquake Observers tells the history of this interrupted dialogue between scientists and citizens about living with environmental risk.
Joe Wilson (1938-2015), a native of rural East Tennessee, was a civil rights activist, self-educated scholar, founder/administrator of nationally important roots music enterprises, and was legendary for his colorful writing and opinions. Lucky Joe’s Namesake, a companion to Roots Music in America: Collected Writings of Joe Wilson (also published by the University of Tennessee Press), brings us Wilson’s life and observations, mostly in his own words.
From humble mountain beginnings, Wilson’s career progressed through Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and New York City, before settling him for twenty-eight years near the seats of power in Washington, D.C. as the executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. In that role, he developed a national model for folk festival presentations, stalked the halls of federal representatives seeking support for traditional artists, and filled concert venues throughout the world with audiences eager to experience the work of master folk musicians. A powerful advocate on behalf of agrarian values, social justice, artistic authenticity, and cultural democracy, Joe wrote in an engaging, humorous, and memorable style.
This eclectic anthology is filled with Joe Wilson’s brilliant published writing for magazines, books, and newspapers as well as privately circulated unpublished works, including an extended autobiographical essay. Readers are sure to benefit from Wilson’s lessons and artful ruminations culled from a lifetime of devotion to music and cultural and social activism.
Fred Bartenstein teaches country and bluegrass music history at the University of Dayton. He is the editor of Bluegrass Bluesman: Josh Graves, a Memoir and coauthor and editor of The Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Inductee Biographies, 1991–2014.
Claribel Baird reviews the interpretation of classical texts for theatrical performance. Howard Bay interrupted his stage design career of more than 150 Broadway productions to help students. BernardBeckerman asks if there are approaches to the teaching of dramatic literature that particularly suit drama-as-theatre. Robert Benedetti offers suggestions on the teaching of acting. OscarBrockett treats the problems of the theatre teacher and the processes of learning.
AgnesHaaga shows that the essential quality in heading up child drama programs is a sense of joyous delight. Wallace Smith discusses methods for teaching secondary schooltheatre. Jewel Walker offers a rare written statement about his work as a theatre teacher. Carl Weber conveys the principles and methodology of his mentor, Bertolt Brecht, to beginning directors.
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson are two of America’s preeminent film scholars. You would be hard pressed to find a serious student of the cinema who hasn’t spent at least a few hours huddled with their seminal introduction to the field—Film Art, now in its ninth edition—or a cable television junkie unaware that the Independent Film Channel sagely christened them the “Critics of the Naughts.” Since launching their blog Observations on Film Art in 2006, the two have added web virtuosos to their growing list of accolades, pitching unconventional long-form pieces engaged with film artistry that have helped to redefine cinematic storytelling for a new age and audience.
Minding Movies presents a selection from over three hundred essays on genre movies, art films, animation, and the business of Hollywood that have graced Bordwell and Thompson’s blog. Informal pieces, conversational in tone but grounded in three decades of authoritative research, the essays gathered here range from in-depth analyses of individual films such as Slumdog Millionaire and Inglourious Basterds to adjustments of Hollywood media claims and forays into cinematic humor. For Bordwell and Thompson, the most fruitful place to begin is how movies are made, how they work, and how they work on us. Written for film lovers, these essays—on topics ranging from Borat to blockbusters and back again—will delight current fans and gain new enthusiasts.
Serious but not solemn, vibrantly informative without condescension, and above all illuminating reading, Minding Movies offers ideas sure to set film lovers thinking—and keep them returning to the silver screen.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the bustling railroad town of Lone Rock, Wisconsin, was home to about a thousand residents, and Freeland Dexter seemed to know the business of every single one. Dexter reported all the news from Lone Rock—from the significant to the trivial, the tragic to the comical—for the Weekly Home News of neighboring Spring Green from 1884 to 1912.
This collection of Dexter’s most fascinating, amusing, and poignant stories and observations brings back to life the colorful characters of his time and takes readers on a journey to a world that was both simpler and changing fast. Whether he was reporting who grew the biggest watermelon, teasing the local lovebirds, or taking a side on the ever-controversial question of whether the town should go dry, Dexter wrote with a distinctive wit and an obvious affection for his town and its people. The News from Lone Rock also provides an illuminating window into a time period of rapid technological progress, showing how the introduction of electric light, telephones, and cars changed lives and connected this quaint village more and more to the outside world.
Today we are all familiar with the iconic pictures of the nebulae produced by the Hubble Space Telescope’s digital cameras. But there was a time, before the successful application of photography to the heavens, in which scientists had to rely on handmade drawings of these mysterious phenomena.
Observing by Hand sheds entirely new light on the ways in which the production and reception of handdrawn images of the nebulae in the nineteenth century contributed to astronomical observation. Omar W. Nasim investigates hundreds of unpublished observing books and paper records from six nineteenth-century observers of the nebulae: Sir John Herschel; William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse; William Lassell; Ebenezer Porter Mason; Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel; and George Phillips Bond. Nasim focuses on the ways in which these observers created and employed their drawings in data-driven procedures, from their choices of artistic materials and techniques to their practices and scientific observation. He examines the ways in which the act of drawing complemented the acts of seeing and knowing, as well as the ways that making pictures was connected to the production of scientific knowledge.
An impeccably researched, carefully crafted, and beautifully illustrated piece of historical work, Observing by Hand will delight historians of science, art, and the book, as well as astronomers and philosophers.
Astronomy Book of the Year, Mercury Magazine (Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
Do we really know what we see through a telescope? How does the ocular system construct planetary images, and how does the brain interpret them? Drawing on both astronomical and psychological data, William Sheehan offers the first systematic analysis of the perceptual and cognitive factors that go into the initial structuring of a planetary image and its subsequent elaboration. Sheehan details the development of lunar and planetary astronomy, beginning with Galileo’s study of the moon, and focuses particularly on the discover of “canals” on Mars. Through each episode he underscores a perceptual or psychological theme, such as the importance of differences in vision, tachistoscopic perceptual effects, the influence of expectation and suggestion on what one sees, and the social psychology of scientific discovery. Planets and Perception is a provocative book that will intrigue anyone who has ever looked through a telescope. In addition, it offers the psychologically oriented reader a case history in the processes of perception unlike any other in the literature.
In 2010, while editing a report on the effects of climate change in Iowa, ecologist Cornelia Mutel came to grips with the magnitude and urgency of the problem. She already knew the basics: greenhouse gas emissions and global average temperatures are rising on a trajectory that could, within decades, propel us beyond far-reaching, irreversible atmospheric changes; the results could devastate the environment that enables humans to thrive. The more details she learned, the more she felt compelled to address this emerging crisis. The result is this book, an artful weaving together of the science behind rising temperatures, tumultuous weather events, and a lifetime devoted to the natural world. Climate change isn’t just about melting Arctic ice and starving polar bears. It’s weakening the web of life in our own backyards.
Moving between two timelines, Mutel pairs chapters about a single year in her Iowa woodland with chapters about her life as a fledgling and then professional student of nature. Stories of her childhood ramblings in Wisconsin and the solace she found in the Colorado mountains during early adulthood are merged with accounts of global environmental dilemmas that have redefined nature during her lifespan. Interwoven chapters bring us into her woodland home to watch nature’s cycles of life during a single year, 2012, when weather records were broken time and time again. Throughout, in a straightforward manner for a concerned general audience, Mutel integrates information about the science of climate change and its dramatic alteration of the planet in ways that clarify its broad reach, profound impact, and seemingly relentless pace.
It is not too late, she informs us: we can still prevent the most catastrophic changes. We can preserve a world full of biodiversity, one that supports human lives as well as those of our myriad companions on this planet. In the end, Mutel offers advice about steps we can all take to curb our own carbon emissions and strategies we can suggest to our policy-makers.
Defying Stalin and his brand of communism, Tito's Yugoslavia developed a unique kind of socialism that combined one-party rule with an economic system of workers' self-management that aroused intense interest throughout the Cold War. As a member of the American Universities Field Staff, Dennison Rusinow became a long-time resident and frequent visitor to Yugoslavia. This volume presents the most significant of his refreshingly immediate and well-informed reports on life in Yugoslavia and the country's major political developments.
Rusinow's essays explore such diverse topics as the first American-style supermarket and its challenge to traditional outdoor markets; the lessons of a Serbian holiday feast (Slava); the resignation of vice president Rankovic; the Croatian Spring of 1971; ethnic divides and the rise of nationalism throughout the country; the tension between conservative and liberal forces in Yugoslav politics; and the student revolt at Belgrade University in 1968. Rusinow's final report in 1991 examines the serious challenges to the nation's future even as it collapsed.