front cover of Affective Circuits
Affective Circuits
African Migrations to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration
Edited by Jennifer Cole and Christian Groes
University of Chicago Press, 2016
The influx of African migrants into Europe in recent years has raised important issues about changing labor economies, new technologies of border control, and the effects of armed conflict. But attention to such broad questions often obscures a fundamental fact of migration: its effects on ordinary life. Affective Circuits brings together essays by an international group of well-known anthropologists to place the migrant family front and center. Moving between Africa and Europe, the book explores the many ways migrants sustain and rework family ties and intimate relationships at home and abroad. It demonstrates how their quotidian efforts—on such a mass scale—contribute to a broader process of social regeneration.
           
The contributors point to the intersecting streams of goods, people, ideas, and money as they circulate between African migrants and their kin who remain back home. They also show the complex ways that emotions become entangled in these exchanges. Examining how these circuits operate in domains of social life ranging from child fosterage to binational marriages, from coming-of-age to healing and religious rituals, the book also registers the tremendous impact of state officials, laws, and policies on migrant experience. Together these essays paint an especially vivid portrait of new forms of kinship at a time of both intense mobility and ever-tightening borders.
 
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Barren in the Promised Land
Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness
Elaine T. May
Harvard University Press
Chronicling astonishing shifts in public attitudes toward reproduction, from the association of barrenness with sin in colonial times, to the creation of laws for compulsory sterilization in the early twentieth century, from the baby craze of the 1950s, to the rise in voluntary childlessness in the 1990s, to the increasing reliance on startling reproductive technologies today, Elaine Tyler May reveals the intersection between public life and the most private part of our lives—sexuality, procreation, and family.
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Before Big Science
The Pursuit of Modern Chemistry and Physics, 1800-1940
Mary Jo Nye
Harvard University Press, 1996

Today's vast multinational scientific monoliths bear little resemblance to the modest laboratories of the early nineteenth century. Yet early in the nineteenth century--when heat and electricity were still counted among the elements--changes were already under way that would revolutionize chemistry and physics into the "big science" of the late twentieth century, expanding tiny, makeshift laboratories into bustling research institutes and replacing the scientific amateurs and generalist savants of the early Victorian era with the professional specialists of contemporary physical science.

Mary Jo Nye traces the social and intellectual history of the physical sciences from the early 1800s to the beginning of the Second World War, examining the sweeping transformation of scientific institutions and professions during the period and the groundbreaking experiments that fueled that change, from the earliest investigations of molecular chemistry and field dynamics to the revolutionary breakthroughs of quantum mechanics, relativity theory, and nuclear science.

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Common People
In Pursuit of My Ancestors
Alison Light
University of Chicago Press, 2015
“Family history begins with missing persons,” Alison Light writes in Common People. We wonder about those we’ve lost, and those we never knew, about the long skein that led to us, and to here, and to now. So we start exploring.
 
Most of us, however, give up a few generations back. We run into a gap, get embarrassed by a ne’er-do-well, or simply find our ancestors are less glamorous than we’d hoped. That didn’t stop Alison Light: in the last weeks of her father’s life, she embarked on an attempt to trace the history of her family as far back as she could reasonably go. The result is a clear-eyed, fascinating, frequently moving account of the lives of everyday people, of the tough decisions and hard work, the good luck and bad breaks, that chart the course of a life. Light’s forebears—servants, sailors, farm workers—were among the poorest, traveling the country looking for work; they left few lasting marks on the world. But through her painstaking work in archives, and her ability to make the people and struggles of the past come alive, Light reminds us that “every life, even glimpsed through the chinks of the census, has its surprises and secrets.”
 
What she did for the servants of Bloomsbury in her celebrated Mrs. Woolf and the Servants Light does here for her own ancestors, and, by extension, everyone’s: draws their experiences from the shadows of the past and helps us understand their lives, estranged from us by time yet inextricably interwoven with our own. Family history, in her hands, becomes a new kind of public history.
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Consuming Desires
Consumption, Culture, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Edited by Roger Rosenblatt
Island Press, 1999

Consider this paradox: Ecologists estimate that it would take three planets Earth to provide an American standard of living to the entire world. Yet it is that standard of living to which the whole world aspires.

In Consuming Desires, award-winning writer and social commentator Roger Rosenblatt brings together a brilliant collection of thinkers and writers to shed light on the triumphs and tragedies of that disturbing paradox. The book represents a captivating salon, offering a rich and varied dialogue on the underlying roots of consumer culture and its pervasive impact on ourselves and the world around us. Each author offers a unique perspective, their layers of thoughts and insights building together to create a striking, multifaceted picture of our society and culture.

Jane Smiley probes the roots of consumerism in the emancipation of women from household drudgery afforded by labor-saving devices and technological innovation; Alex Kotlowitz describes the mutual reinforcement of fashion trends as poor inner-city kids and rich suburban kids strive to imitate each other; Bill McKibben discusses the significance, and the irony, of defining yourself not by what you buy, but by what you don't buy.

The essays range widely, but two ideas are central to nearly all of them: that consumption is driven by yearning and desire -- often unspoken, seemingly insatiable -- and that what prevents us from keeping our consumptive impulse in check is the western concept of self, the solitary and restless self, entitled to all it can pay for.

As Rosenblatt explains in his insightful introduction: "Individualism and desire are what makes us great and what makes us small. Freedom is our dream and our enemy. The essays touch on these paradoxes, and while all are too nuanced and graceful to preach easy reform, they give an idea of what reform means, where it is possible, and, in some cases, where it may not be as desirable as it appears."

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Dancing for Their Lives
The Pursuit of Meaningful Aging in Urban China
Claudia Huang
Rutgers University Press
Dancing for their Lives explores the vibrant world of retired Chinese women known as "dancing grannies” who seek fulfillment and companionship amidst societal upheaval. These women, part of China’s “lost generation,” gather in parks and public squares to reclaim their lives through dance in the wake of Chinese economic and cultural transformations. The book challenges prevailing narratives of aging societies, portraying old age as a site of social innovation rather than decline. Based ethnographic research conducted in Chengdu, China, Dancing for their Lives reveals how retirees learn to navigate shifting social norms and values while actively creating new models for growing older. The book’s insights resonate beyond Chinese society, offering lessons on resilience and the pursuit of meaning in any aging population. Dancing for their Lives underscores the human capacity to craft purposeful lives amid uncertainty, transcending geographical boundaries to illuminate the universal quest for fulfillment in later years.
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Death Investigation in America
Coroners, Medical Examiners, and the Pursuit of Medical Certainty
Jeffrey M. Jentzen
Harvard University Press, 2009

A death occurs at home, in a hospital, on a street: why? As Jeffrey Jentzen reveals, we often never know. Why is the American system of death investigation so inconsistent and inadequate? What can the events of the assassination of President Kennedy, killing of Bobby Kennedy, and Chappaquiddick reveal about the state of death investigation?

If communities in early America had a coroner at all, he was politically appointed and poorly trained. As medicine became more sophisticated and the medical profession more confident, physicians struggled to establish a professionalized, physician-led system of death investigation. The conflict between them and the coroners, as well as politicians and law enforcement agencies, led to the patchwork of local laws and practices that persist to this day.

In this unique political and cultural history, Jentzen draws on archives, interviews, and his own career as a medical examiner to look at the way that a long-standing professional and political rivalry controls public medical knowledge and public health.

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The Delight Makers
Anglo-American Metaphysical Religion and the Pursuit of Happiness
Catherine L. Albanese
University of Chicago Press, 2023
An ambitious history of desire in Anglo-American religion across three centuries.
 
The pursuit of happiness weaves disparate strands of Anglo-American religious history together. In The Delight Makers, Catherine L. Albanese unravels a theology of desire tying Jonathan Edwards to Ralph Waldo Emerson to the religiously unaffiliated today. As others emphasize redemptive suffering, this tradition stresses the “metaphysical” connection between natural beauty and spiritual fulfillment. In the earth’s abundance, these thinkers see an expansive God intent on fulfilling human desire through prosperity, health, and sexual freedom. Through careful readings of Cotton Mather, Andrew Jackson Davis, William James, Esther Hicks, and more, Albanese reveals how a theology of delight evolved alongside political overtures to natural law and individual liberty in the United States.
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Educating Angels
Teaching for the Pursuit of Happiness
Tony Armstrong, Ph.D
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2013
School reform and accountability tests have been hotly debated for decades, but the goal of reform and accountability has not. Most agree that the main problem with contemporary education is that it fails to adequately prepare students with the “21st century skills” needed to find jobs and promote national competitiveness in the global economy. Tony Armstrong challenges both the morality and the consequences of pushing this purpose of education. He says it is immoral because it neglects our children’s deepest aspiration—happiness—and treats them as mere cogs in the economic machine. Dr. Armstrong shows how methods of well-being based on happiness research—mindfulness, gratitude, perspective—can greatly improve kids’ chances to feel better in the present and to live happier lives in the future. And the kindergarten-through-college “happiness pedagogy” he presents would also be a superior way to teach those “21st century skills.”
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The Emerson Museum
Practical Romanticism and the Pursuit of the Whole
Lee R. Brown
Harvard University Press, 1997

In 1832, Ralph Waldo Emerson had come to a critical pass. He had lost his wife and was on the brink of leaving his career as a minister. In this reduced state he traveled to New Hampshire, where he made his famous decision to pursue wholeness--in his life and in his writing. This book reveals how Emerson went about achieving this purpose--and how he conceived a uniquely American literary practice.

Central to this project were the aims and methods of natural science, which Emerson discovered in spectacular form at the Museum of Natural History (Jardin des Plantes) in Paris exactly a year after his momentous decision. Lee Rust Brown describes Emerson's use of these scientific techniques to integrate a disparate, constantly enlarging field of subject matter--ultimately, to reconceive himself as an institution of private research and public presentation not unlike the museum itself, methodically gathering specimens from the exotic frontiers of experience and setting them out, in their manifold affinities, on common ground.

The Emerson Museum shows how this undertaking transformed the legacy of European romanticism into a writing project answerable to American urgencies. The natural science of the time was itself informed by romantic demands for wholeness of prospect, and its methods offered Emerson a way to confront an American reality in which any manifestation of unity--literary, political, philosophical, psychological--had to embrace an expanding and fragmenting field of objective elements. In the experimental format of Emerson's essays, Brown identifies the evolution of this new approach and the emergence of wholeness as a national literary project.

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Energy
Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability
Edited by Robert Bent, Lloyd Orr, and Randall Baker
Island Press, 2002

In the early 2000s, energy prices have fluctuated wildly, from historic highs in the winter and spring of 2001 to the lowest wholesale prices in decades a few short months later. As the largest user of fossil-fuel energy, the United States is the key player in the world's energy markets, and our nation's energy policy (or lack thereof) has become a subject of increasing concern.

Energy: Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability is an essential primer on energy, society, and the environment. It offers an accessible introduction to the "energy problem" -- its definition, analysis, and policy implications. Current patterns of energy use are without question unsustainable over the long term, and our dependence on fossil fuels raises crucial questions of security and self-sufficiency. This volume addresses those questions by examining the three broad dimensions of the issue: physical, human, and political-economic. Chapters consider:

  • the laws of nature and the impacts of energy use on our physical and ecological life-support systems
  • the psychological, social, and cultural factors that determine how we use energy
  • the role of government actions in adjusting costs, influencing resource consumption, and protecting the environment
  • how markets work, and the reasons and cures for market failures in responding to long-term environmental and energy problems
Energy links energy use with key environmental issues of population, consumption, and pollution and offers readers a range of material needed for an informed policy perspective.

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Engineering Vulnerability
In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation
Sarah E. Vaughn
Duke University Press, 2022
In Engineering Vulnerability Sarah E. Vaughn examines climate adaptation against the backdrop of ongoing processes of settler colonialism and the global climate change initiatives that seek to intervene in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable. Her case study is Guyana in the aftermath of the 2005 catastrophic flooding that ravaged the country’s Atlantic coastal plain. The country’s ensuing engineering projects reveal the contingencies of climate adaptation and the capacity of flooding to shape Guyanese expectations about racial (in)equality. Analyzing the coproduction of race and vulnerability, Vaughn details why climate adaptation has implications for how we understand the past and the continued human settlement of a place. Such understandings become particularly apparent not only through experts’ and ordinary citizens’ disputes over resources but in their attention to the ethical practice of technoscience over time. Approaching climate adaptation this way, Vaughn exposes the generative openings as well as gaps in racial thinking for theorizing climate action, environmental justice, and, more broadly, future life on a warming planet.

Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award recipient
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Faith and the Pursuit of Health
Cardiometabolic Disorders in Samoa
Hardin, Jessica
Rutgers University Press, 2019
Faith and the Pursuit of Health explores how Pentecostal Christians manage chronic illness in ways that sheds light on health disparities and social suffering in Samoa, a place where rates of obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders have reached population-wide levels. Pentecostals grapple with how to maintain the health of their congregants in an environment that fosters cardiometabolic disorders. They find ways to manage these forms of sickness and inequality through their churches and the friendships developed within these institutions. Examining how Pentecostal Christianity provides many Samoans with tools to manage day-to-day issues around health and sickness, Jessica Hardin argues for understanding the synergies between how Christianity and biomedicine practice chronicity. 
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Forgotten Healers
Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy
Sharon T. Strocchia
Harvard University Press, 2019

Winner of the Margaret W. Rossiter History of Women in Science Prize

A new history uncovers the crucial role women played in the great transformations of medical science and health care that accompanied the Italian Renaissance.

In Renaissance Italy women played a more central role in providing health care than historians have thus far acknowledged. Women from all walks of life—from household caregivers and nurses to nuns working as apothecaries—drove the Italian medical economy. In convent pharmacies, pox hospitals, girls’ shelters, and homes, women were practitioners and purveyors of knowledge about health and healing, making significant contributions to early modern medicine.

Sharon Strocchia offers a wealth of new evidence about how illness was diagnosed and treated, whether by noblewomen living at court or poor nurses living in hospitals. She finds that women expanded on their roles as health care providers by participating in empirical work and the development of scientific knowledge. Nuns, in particular, were among the most prominent manufacturers and vendors of pharmaceutical products. Their experiments with materials and techniques added greatly to the era’s understanding of medical care. Thanks to their excellence in medicine urban Italian women had greater access to commerce than perhaps any other women in Europe.

Forgotten Healers provides a more accurate picture of the pursuit of health in Renaissance Italy. More broadly, by emphasizing that the frontlines of medical care are often found in the household and other spaces thought of as female, Strocchia encourages us to rethink the history of medicine.

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A Good Drink
In Pursuit of Sustainable Spirits
Shanna Farrell
Island Press, 2021

“Insightful tour de force… Farrell’s writing is as informative as it is intoxicating”  -- Publishers Weekly


Shanna Farrell loves a good drink. As a bartender, she not only poured spirits, but learned their stories—who made them and how. Living in San Francisco, surrounded by farm-to-table restaurants and high-end bars, she wondered why the eco-consciousness devoted to food didn’t extend to drinks.   

The short answer is that we don’t think of spirits as food. But whether it's rum, brandy, whiskey, or tequila, drinks are distilled from the same crops that end up on our tables. Most are grown with chemicals that cause pesticide resistance and pollute waterways, and distilling itself requires huge volumes of water. Even bars are notorious for generating mountains of trash. The good news is that while the good drink movement is far behind the good food movement, it is emerging.
 
In A Good Drink, Farrell goes in search of the bars, distillers, and farmers who are driving a transformation to sustainable spirits. She meets mezcaleros in Guadalajara who are working to preserve traditional ways of producing mezcal, for the health of the local land, the wallets of the local farmers, and the culture of the community. She visits distillers in South Carolina who are bringing a rare variety of corn back from near extinction to make one of the most sought-after bourbons in the world. She meets a London bar owner who has eliminated individual bottles and ice, acculturating drinkers to a new definition of luxury.
 
These individuals are part of a growing trend to recognize spirits for what they are—part of our food system. For readers who have ever wondered who grew the pears that went into their brandy or why their cocktail is an unnatural shade of red, A Good Drink will be an eye-opening tour of the spirits industry. For anyone who cares about the future of the planet, it offers a hopeful vision of change, one pour at a time.

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In Pursuit of Civility
Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England
Keith Thomas
Brandeis University Press, 2018
Keith Thomas’s earlier studies in the ethnography of early modern England, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Man and the Natural World, and The Ends of Life, were all attempts to explore beliefs, values, and social practices in the centuries from 1500 to 1800. In Pursuit of Civility continues this quest by examining what English people thought it meant to be “civilized” and how that condition differed from being “barbarous” or “savage.” Thomas shows that the upper ranks of society sought to distinguish themselves from their social inferiors by distinctive ways of moving, speaking, and comporting themselves, and that the common people developed their own form of civility. The belief of the English in their superior civility shaped their relations with the Welsh, the Scots, and the Irish, and was fundamental to their dealings with the native peoples of North America, India, and Australia. Yet not everyone shared this belief in the superiority of Western civilization; the book sheds light on the origins of both anticolonialism and cultural relativism. Thomas has written an accessible history based on wide reading, abounding in fresh insights, and illustrated by many striking quotations and anecdotes from contemporary sources.
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In Pursuit of German Memory
History, Television, and Politics after Auschwitz
Wulf Kansteiner
Ohio University Press, 2006

The collective memories of Nazism that developed in postwar Germany have helped define a new paradigm of memory politics. From Europe to South Africa and from Latin America to Iraq, scholars have studied the German case to learn how to overcome internal division and regain international recognition.

In Pursuit of German Memory: History, Television, and Politics after Auschwitz examines three arenas of German memory politics—professional historiography, national politics, and national public television—that have played key roles in the reinvention of the Nazi past in the last sixty years. Wulf Kansteiner shows that the interpretations of the past proposed by historians, politicians, and television producers reflect political and generational divisions and an extraordinary concern for Germany's image abroad. At the same time, each of these theaters of memory has developed its own dynamics and formats of historical reflection.

Kansteiner’s analysis of the German scene reveals a complex social geography of collective memory. In Pursuit of German Memory underscores the fact that German memories of Nazism, like many other collective memories, combine two seemingly contradictory qualities: They are highly mediated and part of a global exchange of images and story fragments but, at the same time, they can be reproduced only locally, in narrowly circumscribed networks of communication.

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In Pursuit of Giants
One Man's Global Search for the Last of the Great Fish
Matt Rigney
University Press of New England, 2017
For millennia the great fish—marlin, bluefin tuna, and swordfish—have reigned over the world’s oceans and awed human beings. Naturalists, photographers, sportfishermen, and writers from Zane Grey to Ernest Hemingway have been inspired by their beauty, power, and sheer size. But like much other marine life today, these fish face perilous reductions in their populations due to destructive and illegal fishing, inept fisheries management practices, and dramatic changes in ocean ecology, including those wrought by climate change. In Pursuit of Giants is a moving elegy and a call to arms for the protection of these creatures, as well as a five-year, 75,000-mile global adventure story that takes author Matt Rigney on a quest to discover how once-thriving species are now threatened. Rigney’s pilgrimage to encounter these giants takes him from the sportfishing mecca of Cabo San Lucas, to the Great Barrier Reef, from New Zealand to Nova Scotia, Japan and the Mediterranean, as he joins commercial and sport fishermen, marine biologists, fish-farming pioneers, and ocean activists to investigate the dangers these species face, and the various efforts being made—or not—to protect them.
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In Pursuit of Gold
Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West
Sue Fawn Chung
University of Illinois Press, 2011

Both a history of an overlooked community and a well-rounded reassessment of prevailing assumptions about Chinese miners in the American West, In Pursuit of Gold brings to life in rich detail the world of turn-of-the-century mining towns in the Northwest. Sue Fawn Chung meticulously recreates the lives of Chinese immigrants, miners, merchants, and others who populated these towns and interacted amicably with their white and Native American neighbors, defying the common perception of nineteenth-century Chinese communities as insular enclaves subject to increasing prejudice and violence.

While most research has focused on Chinese miners in California, this book is the first extensive study of Chinese experiences in the towns of John Day in Oregon and Tuscarora, Island Mountain, and Gold Creek in Nevada. Chung illustrates the relationships between miners and merchants within the communities and in the larger context of immigration, arguing that the leaders of the Chinese and non-Chinese communities worked together to create economic interdependence and to short-circuit many of the hostilities and tensions that plagued other mining towns.

Peppered with fascinating details about these communities from the intricacies of Chinese gambling games to the techniques of hydraulic mining, In Pursuit of Gold draws on a wealth of historical materials, including immigration records, census manuscripts, legal documents, newspapers, memoirs, and manuscript collections. Chung supplements this historical research with invaluable first-hand observations of artifacts that she experienced in archaeological digs and restoration efforts at several of the sites of the former booming mining towns.

In clear, analytical prose, Chung expertly characterizes the movement of Chinese miners into Oregon and Nevada, the heyday of their mining efforts in the region, and the decline of the communities due to changes in the mining industry. Highlighting the positive experiences and friendships many of the immigrants had in these relatively isolated mining communities, In Pursuit of Gold also suggests comparisons with the Chinese diaspora in other locations such as British Columbia and South Africa.

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In Pursuit of Justice
The Life of John Albion Andrew
Stephen D. Engle
University of Massachusetts Press, 2023

Widely known as the “poor man’s lawyer” in antebellum Boston, John Albion Andrew (1818–1867) was involved in nearly every cause and case that advanced social and racial justice in Boston in the years preceding the Civil War. Inspired by the legacies of John Quincy Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and mentored by Charles Sumner, Andrew devoted himself to the battle for equality. By day, he fought to protect those condemned to the death penalty, women seeking divorce, and fugitives ensnared by the Fugitive Slave Law. By night, he coordinated logistics and funding for the Underground Railroad as it ferried enslaved African Americans northward.

In this revealing and accessible biography, Stephen D. Engle traces Andrew’s life and legacy, giving this important, but largely forgotten, figure his due. Rising to national prominence during the Civil War years as the governor of Massachusetts, Andrew raised the African American regiment known as the Glorious 54th and rallied thousands of soldiers to the Union cause. Upon his sudden death in 1867, a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly wrote, “Not since the news came of Abraham Lincoln’s death were so many hearts truly smitten.”

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In Pursuit of Lakshmi
The Political Economy of the Indian State
Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph
University of Chicago Press, 1987
The pursuit of Lakshmi, the fickle goddess of prosperity and good fortune, is a metaphor for the aspirations of the state and people of independent India. In the latest of their distinguished contributions to South Asian studies, scholars Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph focus on this modern-day pursuit by offering a comprehensive analysis of India's political economy.

India occupies a paradoxical plane among nation states: it is both developed and underdeveloped, rich and poor, strong and weak. These contrasts locate India in the international order. The Rudolphs' theory of demand and command polities provides a general framework for explaining the special circumstances of the Indian experience.

Contrary to what one might expect in a country with great disparities of wealth, no national party, right or left, pursues the politics of class. Instead, the Rudolphs argue, private capital and organized labor in India face a "third actor"—the state. Because of the dominance of the state makes class politics marginal, the state is itself an element in the creation of the centrist-oriented social pluralism that has characterized Indian politics since independence.

In analyzing the relationship between India's politics and its economy, the Rudolphs maintain that India's economic performance has been only marginally affected by the type of regime in power—authoritarian or democratic. More important, they show that rising levels of social mobilization and personalistic rule have contributed to declining state capacity and autonomy. At the same time, social mobilization has led to a more equitable distribution of economic benefits and political power, which has enhanced the state's legitimacy among its citizens.

The scope and explanatory power of In Pursuit of Lakshmi will make it essential for all those interested in political economy, comparative politics, Asian studies and India.
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In Pursuit of Leviathan
Technology, Institutions, Productivity, and Profits in American Whaling, 1816-1906
Lance E. Davis, Robert E. Gallman, and Karin Gleiter
University of Chicago Press, 1997
In Pursuit of Leviathan traces the American whaling industry from its rise in the 1840s to its precipitous fall at the end of the nineteenth century. Using detailed and comprehensive data that describe more than four thousand whaling voyages from New Bedford, Massachusetts, the leading nineteenth-century whaling port, the authors explore the market for whale products, crew quality and labor contracts, and whale biology and distribution, and assess the productivity of the American fleet. They then examine new whaling techniques developed at the end of the nineteenth century, such as modified clippers and harpoons, and the introduction of darting guns. Despite the common belief that the whaling industry declined due to a fall in whale stocks, the authors argue that the industry's collapse was related to changes in technology and market conditions.

Providing a wealth of historical information, In Pursuit of Leviathan is a classic industry study that will provide intriguing reading for anyone interested in the history of whaling.
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In Pursuit of Status
The Making of South Korea’s “New” Urban Middle Class
Denise Potrzeba Lett
Harvard University Press, 1998

In this ethnography of the everyday life of contemporary Korea, Denise Lett argues that South Korea's contemporary urban middle class not only exhibits upper-class characteristics but also that this reflects a culturally inherited disposition of Koreans to seek high status. Lett shows that Koreans have adapted traditional ways of asserting high status to modern life, and analyzes strategies for claiming high status in terms of occupation, family, lifestyle, education, and marriage.

The Harvard-Hallym Series on Korean Studies, published by the Harvard Council on East Asian Studies, is supported by the Korean Institute of Harvard and Hallym University in Korea. The series is committed to the publication of outstanding new scholarly work on Korea, regardless of discipline, in both the humanities and the social sciences.

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In Pursuit of the Gene
From Darwin to DNA
James Schwartz
Harvard University Press, 2008

The mystery of inheritance has captivated thinkers since antiquity, and the unlocking of this mystery—the development of classical genetics—is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. This great scientific and human drama is the story told fully and for the first time in this book.

Acclaimed science writer James Schwartz presents the history of genetics through the eyes of a dozen or so central players, beginning with Charles Darwin and ending with Nobel laureate Hermann J. Muller. In tracing the emerging idea of the gene, Schwartz deconstructs many often-told stories that were meant to reflect glory on the participants and finds that the “official” version of discovery often hides a far more complex and illuminating narrative. The discovery of the structure of DNA and the more recent advances in genome science represent the culmination of one hundred years of concentrated inquiry into the nature of the gene. Schwartz’s multifaceted training as a mathematician, geneticist, and writer enables him to provide a remarkably lucid account of the development of the central ideas about heredity, and at the same time bring to life the brilliant and often eccentric individuals who shaped these ideas.

In the spirit of the late Stephen Jay Gould, this book offers a thoroughly engaging story about one of the oldest and most controversial fields of scientific inquiry. It offers readers the background they need to understand the latest findings in genetics and those still to come in the search for the genetic basis of complex diseases and traits.

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In Pursuit of Their Dreams
A History of Azorean Immigration to the United States
Jerry R. Williams
Tagus Press, 2007
Jerry Williams' history of Azorean immigration to the United States offers us valuable insight into the experience and culture of Portuguese immigrants and their descendents. This account fills a major gap in American immigration history and gives us a comprehensive overview of how Portuguese-Americans—now numbering close to a million people—have come to constitute a vibrant and highly visible presence within southeastern New England, the areas around San Francisco and San Diego, Hawaii, and the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. Even though Azorean immigrants all came from similar cultural and social backgrounds, Williams shows how regionally specific opportunity structures and social hierarchies have contributed to significant differences within the Portuguese-American experience.

Starting with the whaling routes that first connected the mid-Atlantic archipelago with the ports of call in New England and California in the early 1800s, Williams lays out the complex relationship between the Azores and the US that has continued into the present. We learn how particular patterns of poverty, overpopulation and social inequality in the Azores pushed large numbers of the islands' inhabitants to leave their homes in search of better opportunities for themselves and their children. He tells the story of how the early whalers who jumped ship in New Bedford, San Francisco, or Hawaii were followed by kin and fellow villagers who had heard of plentiful jobs in New England's textile mills, gold and land in California, or agricultural work on Hawaiian plantations. Williams' account allows us to understand the importance of family and community connections throughout the immigrants' arduous transition from peasant life to industrial society.
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In Pursuit
The Hunt for the Beltway Snipers
David Reichenbaugh
University Press of New England, 2018
October 2, 2002. A bullet pierced the window of a crafts store in Maryland, just missing the cashier. But other bullets hit their targets. In Pursuit follows the hunt for the Beltway snipers during the twenty-three-day shooting spree that terrorized Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. David Reichenbaugh—the criminal intelligence operations commander for the Maryland State Police, and commanding officer at the scene during the snipers’ capture in Myersville, Maryland—played a major role in the investigation from the first day of the killing spree through its final act, as the snipers were cornered in a rest area in western Maryland. He is one of very few people who know the complete details of the investigation and capture of the snipers. Working against the clock with few clues and little evidence, hundreds of investigators from federal, state, county, and city law enforcement agencies struggled to find answers to the questions: Who were the killers? Was their choice of victims random? And most of all, Why did they kill? When the killers began leaving notes to taunt the police, investigators were finally able to begin assembling a picture, piercing the fog of uncertainty and terror that filled the region.
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Law, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Terrorism
Roger Douglas
University of Michigan Press, 2014

Roger Douglas compares responses to terrorism by five liberal democracies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—over the past 15 years. He examines each nation’s development and implementation of counterterrorism law, specifically in the areas of information-gathering, the definition of terrorist offenses, due process for the accused, detention, and torture and other forms of coercive questioning.

Douglas finds that terrorist attacks elicit pressures for quick responses, often allowing national governments to accrue additional powers. But emergencies are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for such laws, which may persist even after fears have eased. He argues that responses are influenced by both institutional interests and prior beliefs, and complicated when the exigencies of office and beliefs point in different directions. He also argues that citizens are wary of government’s impingement on civil liberties and that courts exercise their capacity to restrain the legislative and executive branches. Douglas concludes that the worst antiterror excesses have taken place outside of the law rather than within, and that the legacy of 9/11 includes both laws that expand government powers and judicial decisions that limit those very powers.

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Liberty and the Pursuit of Knowledge
Charles Renouvier's Political Philosophy of Science
Warren Schmaus
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018

French philosopher Charles Renouvier played an influential role in reviving philosophy in France after it was proscribed during the Second Empire. Drawn to the ideals of the French Revolution, Renouvier came to recognize that the free will and civil liberties he supported were essential to the pursuit of science, contrary to the ideologies of positivists and socialists who would restrict liberty in the name of science. He struggled against monarchy and religious authority in the period up through 1848 and defended a liberal, secular form of political organization at a critical turning point in French history, the beginning of the Third Republic. As Warren Schmaus argues, Renouvier’s work provides an example of one way in which philosophy of science can succeed in bringing about change in political life—by critiquing political ideologies that falsely claim absolute certainty on religious, scientific, or any other grounds. Liberty and the Pursuit of Knowledge explores the understudied relationship between Renouvier’s philosophy of science and his political philosophy, shedding new light on the significance of his thought for the history of philosophy.
 

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Mothering by Degrees
Single Mothers and the Pursuit of Postsecondary Education
Duquaine-Watson, Jillian M.
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Winner of the 2018 AERA Division J Outstanding Publication Award

In Mothering by Degrees, Jillian Duquaine-Watson shows how single mothers pursuing college degrees must navigate a difficult course as they attempt to reconcile their identities as single moms, college students, and in many cases, employees. They also negotiate a balance between what they think a good mother should be, and what society is telling them, and how that affects their choices to go to college, and whether to stay in college or not. 

The first book length study to focus on the lives and experiences of single mothers who are college students, Mothering by Degrees points out how these women are influenced by dominant American ideologies of motherhood, and the institutional parameters of the schools they attend, and argues for increased attention to the specific ways in which the choices, challenges, and opportunities available to mothers are shaped within their specific environments, as well as the ways in which mothers help shape those environments...
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No Easy Answers
Science and the Pursuit of Knowledge
Allan Franklin
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007
In No Easy Answers, Allan Franklin offers an accurate picture of science to both a general reader and to scholars in the humanities and social sciences who may not have any background in physics. Through the examination of nontechnical case studies, he illustrates the various roles that experiment plays in science. He uses examples of unquestioned success, such as the discoveries of the electron and of three types of neutrino, as well as studies that were dead ends, wrong turns, or just plain mistakes, such as the “fifth force,” a proposed modification of Newton's law of gravity. Franklin argues that science is a reasonable enterprise that provides us with knowledge of the natural world based on valid experimental evidence and reasoned and critical discussion, and he makes clear that it behooves all of us to understand how it works.
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Pacific Possessions
The Pursuit of Authenticity in Nineteenth-Century Oceanian Travel Accounts
Chris J. Thomas
University of Alabama Press, 2021
Reframes Polynesia and Melanesia through analysis of nineteenth-century travel writing
 
In Pacific Possessions: The Pursuit of Authenticity in Nineteenth-Century Oceanian Travel Accounts, Chris J. Thomas expands the literary canon on Polynesia and Melanesia beyond the giants, such as Herman Melville and Jack London, to include travel narratives by British and American visitors. These accounts were widely read and reviewed when they first appeared but have largely been ignored by scholars. For the first time, Thomas defines these writings as a significant literary genre.
 
Recovering these works allows us to reconceive of nineteenth-century Oceania as a vibrant hub of cultural interchange. Pacific Possessions recaptures the polyphony of voices that enlivened this space through the writing of these travelers, while also paying attention to their Oceanian interlocutors. Each chapter centers on a Pacific cultural marker, what Thomas refers to as each writer’s “possession”: the Tongan tattoo, the Hawaiian hula, the Fijian cannibal fork, and  Robert Louis Stevenson’s cache of South Seas photographs.
 
Thomas analyzes how westerners formed narratives around these objects and what those objects meant within nineteenth-century Oceanian cultures. He argues that the accounts served to shape a version of Oceanian authenticity that persists today. The profiled traveler-writers had complex experiences, at times promoting exoticized exaggerations of so-called authentic Polynesian and Melanesian cultures and at other times genuinely engaging in cultural exchange. However, their views were ultimately compromised by a western lens. In Thomas’s words, “the authenticity is at once celebrated and written over.”
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Perfectly Average
The Pursuit of Normality in Postwar America
Anna G. Creadick
University of Massachusetts Press, 2010
At the end of World War II, many Americans longed for a return to a more normal way of life after decades of depression and war. In fact, between 1945 and 1963 the idea of "normality" circulated as a keyword in almost every aspect of American culture. But what did this term really mean? What were its parameters? Whom did it propose to include and exclude?

In Perfectly Average, Anna Creadick investigates how and why "normality" reemerged as a potent homogenizing category in postwar America. Working with scientific studies, material culture, literary texts, film, fashion, and the mass media, she charts the pursuit of the"normal" through thematic chapters on the body, character, class, sexuality, and community.

Creadick examines such evidence as the "Norm and Norma" models produced during the war by sexologists and anthropologists—statistical composites of"normal" American bodies. In 1945, as thousands of Ohio women signed up for a Norma Look-Alike contest, a "Harvard Study of Normal Men" sought to define the typical American male according to specific criteria, from body shape to upbringing to blood pressure. By the early 1950s, the "man in the gray flannel suit" had come to symbolize what some regarded as the stultifying sameness of the "normalized" middle class. Meanwhile, novels such as From Here to Eternity and Peyton Place both supported and challenged normative ideas about gender, race, and sexuality, even as they worked to critique the postwar culture of surveillance—watching and being watched—through which normalizing power functioned.

As efforts to define normality became increasingly personal, the tensions em-bedded in its binary logic multiplied: Was normal descriptive of an average or prescriptive of an ideal? In the end, Creadick shows, a variety of statistics, assumptions, and aspirations converged to recast "normality" not as something innate or inborn, but rather as a quality to be actively pursued—a standard at once highly seductive and impossible to achieve because it required becoming perfectly average.
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Plato and Aristophanes
Comedy, Politics, and the Pursuit of a Just Life
Marina Marren
Northwestern University Press, 2022
In Plato and Aristophanes, Marina Marren contends that our search for communal justice must start with self-examination. The realization that there are things that we cannot know about ourselves unless we become the subject of a joke is integral to such self-scrutiny. Jokes provide a new perspective on our politics and ethics; they are essential to our civic self-awareness.
 
Marren makes this case by delving into Plato’s Republic, a foundational work of political philosophy. While the Republic straightforwardly condemns the decadence and greed of a tyrant, Plato’s attack on political idealism is both solemn and comedic. In fact, Plato draws on the same comedic stock and tropes as do Aristophanes’s plays. Marren’s book strikes up an innovative conversation between three works by Aristophanes—Assembly Women, Knights, and Birds—and Plato’s philosophy, prompting important questions about individual convictions and one’s personal search for justice. These dialogic works offer critiques of tyranny that are by turns brilliant, scathing, and exuberant, making light of faults and ideals alike. Philosophical comedy exposes despotism in individuals as well as systems of government claiming to be just and good. This critique holds as much bite against contemporary injustices as it did at the time of Aristophanes and Plato.
 
An ingenious new work by an emerging scholar, Plato and Aristophanes shows that comedy—in tandem with philosophy and politics—is essential to self-examination. And without such examination, there is no hope for a just life.
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The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity
How Corruption Control Makes Government Ineffective
Frank Anechiarico and James B. Jacobs
University of Chicago Press, 1996
In this comprehensive and controversial case study of anticorruption efforts, Frank Anechiarico and James B. Jacobs show how the proliferating regulations and oversight mechanisms designed to prevent or root out corruption seriously undermine our ability to govern. By constraining decision makers' discretion, shaping priorities, and causing delays, corruption control—no less than corruption itself—has contributed to the contemporary crisis in public administration.

"Anechiarico and Jacobs . . . have pushed aside the claims and posturing by officials and reformers and revealed a critical need to reevaluate just what we have and are doing to public servants, and to the public, in the name of anti-corruption."—Citylaw

"A timely and very useful addition to the new debate over corruption and reform."—Michael Johnston, American Political Science Review
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The Pursuit of Equality in the West
Aldo Schiavone
Harvard University Press, 2022

One of the world’s foremost historians of Western political and legal thought proposes a bold new model for thinking about equality at a time when its absence threatens democracies everywhere.

How much equality does democracy need to survive? Political thinkers have wrestled with that question for millennia. Aristotle argued that some are born to command and others to obey. Antiphon believed that men, at least, were born equal. Later the Romans upended the debate by asking whether citizens were equals not in ruling but in standing before the law. Aldo Schiavone guides us through these and other historical thickets, from the first democracy to the present day, seeking solutions to the enduring tension between democracy and inequality.

Turning from Antiquity to the modern world, Schiavone shows how the American and the French revolutions attempted to settle old debates, introducing a new way of thinking about equality. Both the French revolutionaries and the American colonists sought democracy and equality together, but the European tradition (British Labour, Russian and Eastern European Marxists, and Northern European social democrats) saw formal equality—equality before the law—as a means of obtaining economic equality. The American model, in contrast, adopted formal equality while setting aside the goal of economic equality.

The Pursuit of Equality in the West argues that the United States and European models were compatible with industrial-age democracy, but neither suffices in the face of today’s technological revolution. Opposing both atomization and the obsolete myths of the collective, Schiavone thinks equality anew, proposing a model founded on neither individualism nor the erasure of the individual but rather on the universality of the impersonal human, which coexists with the sea of differences that makes each of us unique.

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The Pursuit of Happiness
Black Women, Diasporic Dreams, and the Politics of Emotional Transnationalism
Bianca C. Williams
Duke University Press, 2018
In The Pursuit of Happiness Bianca C. Williams traces the experiences of African American women as they travel to Jamaica, where they address the perils and disappointments of American racism by looking for intimacy, happiness, and a connection to their racial identities. Through their encounters with Jamaican online communities and their participation in trips organized by Girlfriend Tours International, the women construct notions of racial, sexual, and emotional belonging by forming relationships with Jamaican men and other "girlfriends." These relationships allow the women to exercise agency and find happiness in ways that resist the damaging intersections of racism and patriarchy in the United States. However, while the women require a spiritual and virtual connection to Jamaica in order to live happily in the United States, their notion of happiness relies on travel, which requires leveraging their national privilege as American citizens. Williams's theorization of "emotional transnationalism" and the construction of affect across diasporic distance attends to the connections between race, gender, and affect while highlighting how affective relationships mark nationalized and gendered power differentials within the African diaspora.
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The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era
An Intellectual History
Carli N. Conklin
University of Missouri Press, 2020

Scholars have long debated the meaning of the pursuit of happiness, yet have tended to define it narrowly, focusing on a single intellectual tradition, and on the use of the term within a single text, the Declaration of Independence. In this insightful volume, Carli Conklin considers the pursuit of happiness across a variety of intellectual traditions, and explores its usage in two key legal texts of the Founding Era, the Declaration and William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.

For Blackstone, the pursuit of happiness was a science of jurisprudence, by which his students could know, and then rightly apply, the first principles of the Common Law. For the founders, the pursuit of happiness was the individual right to pursue a life lived in harmony with the law of nature and a public duty to govern in accordance with that law. Both applications suggest we consider anew how the phrase, and its underlying legal philosophies, were understood in the founding era. With this work, Conklin makes important contributions to the fields of early American intellectual and legal history.

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The Pursuit of Harmony
Kepler on Cosmos, Confession, and Community
Aviva Rothman
University of Chicago Press, 2017
A committed Lutheran excommunicated from his own church, a friend to Catholics and Calvinists alike, a layman who called himself a “priest of God,” a Copernican in a world where Ptolemy still reigned, a man who argued at the same time for the superiority of one truth and the need for many truths to coexist—German astronomer Johannes Kepler was, to say the least, a complicated figure. With The Pursuit of Harmony, Aviva Rothman offers a new view of him and his achievements, one that presents them as a story of Kepler’s attempts to bring different, even opposing ideas and circumstances into harmony.
 
Harmony, Rothman shows, was both the intellectual bedrock for and the primary goal of Kepler’s disparate endeavors. But it was also an elusive goal amid the deteriorating conditions of his world, as the political order crumbled and religious war raged. In the face of that devastation, Kepler’s hopes for his theories changed: whereas he had originally looked for a unifying approach to truth, he began instead to emphasize harmony as the peaceful coexistence of different views, one that could be fueled by the fundamentally nonpartisan discipline of mathematics. 
 
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The Pursuit of Justice
The Military Moral Economy in the USA, Australia, and Great Britain - 1861-1945
Nathan Wise
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
The Pursuit of Justice is the first book to examine three separate instances of soldiers risking their lives during wartime to protest injustices being perpetrated by military authorities: within the United States Army during the American Civil War, the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, and the British Army during World War II. Nathan Wise explores the three events in detail and reveals how-despite the vast differences in military forces, wars, regions of the world, and eras-the soldiers involved all shared a common sense of justice and responded in remarkably similar ways.
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Pursuit of Justices
Presidential Politics and the Selection of Supreme Court Nominees
David Alistair Yalof
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Although the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominees is the most public part of the nomination process, the most critical phase—the initial selection of nominees—is usually hidden from view. In Pursuit of Justices, David Yalof takes the reader behind the scenes of what happens before the Senate hearings to show how presidents go about deciding who will sit on the highest court in the land. As Yalof shows, an intricate web of forces—competing factions within the executive branch, organized interests, and the president's close associates—all vie for influence during this phase of presidential decisionmaking.

Yalof draws on the papers of seven modern presidents, from Truman to Reagan, and firsthand interviews with key figures, such as Ramsey Clark, Edwin Meese, and President Gerald Ford. He documents and analyzes the selection criteria these presidents used, the pool of candidates from which they chose, their strategies, and the political pressures affecting their decisions, both successes and failures. Yalof also disputes much conventional wisdom about the selection process, including the widely held view that presidents choose nominees primarily to influence future decisions of the high court. In a substantial epilogue, Yalof offers insightful observations about the selections of Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

By focusing on a neglected area of presidential politics, Yalof offers a fascinating and unprecedented glimpse into the intricate world of executive branch decisionmaking and the Supreme Court appointment process as a whole.
Winner of the 2000 Richard E. Neustadt Award for Best Book on the American Presidency
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The Pursuit of Power
Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000
William H. McNeill
University of Chicago Press, 1982
In this magnificent synthesis of military, technological, and social history, William H. McNeill explores a whole millennium of human upheaval and traces the path by which we have arrived at the frightening dilemmas that now confront us. McNeill moves with equal mastery from the crossbow—banned by the Church in 1139 as too lethal for Christians to use against one another—to the nuclear missile, from the sociological consequences of drill in the seventeenth century to the emergence of the military-industrial complex in the twentieth. His central argument is that a commercial transformation of world society in the eleventh century caused military activity to respond increasingly to market forces as well as to the commands of rulers. Only in our own time, suggests McNeill, are command economies replacing the market control of large-scale human effort. The Pursuit of Power does not solve the problems of the present, but its discoveries, hypotheses, and sheer breadth of learning do offer a perspective on our current fears and, as McNeill hopes, "a ground for wiser action."
 
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The Pursuit of Racial and Ethnic Equality in American Public Schools
Mendez, Brown, and Beyond
Kristi L. Bowman
Michigan State University Press, 2015
In 1954 the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education; ten years later, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act. These monumental changes in American law dramatically expanded educational opportunities for racial and ethnic minority children across the country. They also changed the experiences of white children, who have learned in increasingly diverse classrooms. The authors of this commemorative volume include leading scholars in law, education, and public policy, as well as important historical figures. Taken together, the chapters trace the narrative arc of school desegregation in the United States, beginning in California in the 1940s, continuing through Brown v. Board, the Civil Rights Act, and three important Supreme Court decisions about school desegregation and voluntary integration in 1974, 1995, and 2007. The authors also assess the status of racial and ethnic equality in education today and consider the viability of future legal and policy reform in pursuit of the goals of Brown v. Board. This remarkable collection of voices in conversation with one another lays the groundwork for future discussions about the relationship between law and educational equality, and ultimately for the creation of new public policy. A valuable reference for scholars and students alike, this dynamic text is an important contribution to the literature by an outstanding group of authors.
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Pursuit of Truth
W. V. Quine
Harvard University Press, 1990

In Pursuit of Truth W. V. Quine gives us his latest word on issues to which he has devoted many years. As he says in the preface: “In these pages I have undertaken to update, sum up, and clarify my variously intersecting views on cognitive meaning, objective reference, and the grounds of knowledge.”

The pursuit of truth is a quest that links observation, theory, and the world. Various faulty efforts to forge such links have led to much intellectual confusion. Quine’s efforts to get beyond the confusion begin by rejecting the very idea of binding together word and thing, rejecting the focus on the isolated word. For him, observation sentences and theoretical sentences are the alpha and omega of the scientific enterprise. Notions like “idea” and ”meaning” are vague, but a sentence—now there’s something you can sink your teeth into. Starting thus with sentences, Quine sketches an epistemological setting for the pursuit of truth. He proceeds to show how reification and reference contribute to the elaborate structure that can indeed relate science to its sensory evidence.

In this book Quine both summarizes and moves ahead. Rich, lively chapters dissect his major concerns: evidence, reference, meaning, intention, and truth. “Some points,” he writes, “have become clearer in my mind in the eight years since Theories and Things. Some that were already clear in my mind have become clearer on paper. And there are some that have meanwhile undergone substantive change for the better.”

This is a key book for understanding the effort that a major philosopher has made a large part of his life’s work: to naturalize epistemology in the twentieth century. The book is concise and elegantly written, as one would expect, and does not assume the reader’s previous acquaintance with Quine’s writings. Throughout, it is marked by Quine’s wit and economy of style.

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Pursuit of Truth
Revised Edition
W. V. Quine
Harvard University Press, 1992

In Pursuit of Truth W. V. Quine gives us his latest word on issues to which he has devoted many years. As he says in the preface: "In these pages I have undertaken to update, sum up, and clarify my variously intersecting views on cognitive meaning, objective reference, and the grounds of knowledge?'The pursuit of truth is a quest that links observation, theory, and the world. Various faulty efforts to forge such links have led to much intellectual confusion. Quine's efforts to get beyond the confusion begin by rejecting the very idea of binding together word and thing, rejecting the focus on the isolated word. For him, observation sentences and theoretical sentences are the alpha and omega ofthe scientific enterprise. Notions like "idea" and "meaning" are vague, but a sentence-now there's something you can sink your teeth into.

Starting thus with sentences, Quine sketches an epistemological setting for the pursuit of truth. He proceeds to show how reification and reference contribute to the elaborate structure that can indeed relate science to its sensory evidence.In this book Quine both summarizes and moves ahead. Rich, lively chapters dissect his major concerns-evidence, reference, meaning, intension, and truth. "Some points;' he writes, "have become clearer in my mind in the eight years since Theories and Things. Some that were already clear in my mind have become clearer on paper. And there are some that have meanwhile undergone substantive change for the better." This is a key book for understanding the effort that a major philosopher has made a large part of his life's work: to naturalize epistemology in the twentieth century. The book is concise and elegantly written, as one would expect, and does not assume the reader's previous acquaintance with Quine's writings. Throughout, it is marked by Quine's wit and economy of style.

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The Pursuit of Unity and Perfection in History
Klaus Vondung
St. Augustine's Press, 2020
The achievement of unity and perfection in human action begins with a struggle for these ideals in human thought. Dr. Klaus Vondung in his collection of essays that span four decades explores examples of this in different fields of human inquiry: striving for harmonious existential unity of talents and morals, intellect and emotion; seeking to make natural sciences consonant with the humanities and thereby moving toward a more universal, “perfect” science; and establishing unity in political structures and cultivating in this unity a homogenous society. Vondung devotes himself especially to exposing National Socialism, and revisits its perverted motivations and the murderous consequences of its ideology.
     Particular focus in following the thread of unity and perfection in human intellectual and practical ambitions ultimately hones in on the combination of religion and politics. Vondung in these essays unpacks the ways in which this continues to fascinate and disturb us, and in his expertise he uses National Socialism to connect this pursuit of unity and perfection to what he calls one of the signature marks of modernity––namely, secular apocalypticism. This claim stands in opposition to Eric Voegelin’s remark that Gnosticism, rather, is “the nature of modernity.” Vondung, who studied and wrote his dissertation under Voegelin, grapples with the contrast of these positions. Vondung is willing to challenge Voegelin, but ultimately his treatment of the latter bears the quality of tribute to this great scholar.
      Vondung also explores the points of contact between apocalypticism and Hermetic speculation. Despite the independence of the religious and philosophical doctrines of Hermeticism, there are parallels to be found. Apocalypticism and Hermeticism originated in antiquity and yet each represents a tradition that still holds footing today. Vondung furthermore leads the reader to see the project of salvation found in both even as each operates with a different scope.
     This collection of essays centers itself on a perspective of the human pursuit of unity and perfection, directly or indirectly, as objectives of intellectual endeavors, existential ideals, as social or political outcomes, and in the case of National Socialism even as perverse aberrations that led to the Holocaust. Vondung’s particular treatment of Voegelin’s work likewise establishes what the former identifies as a stand-out question of this study: Does the search for order in history show us the unity of the history of humankind?
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Race at the Top
Asian Americans and Whites in Pursuit of the American Dream in Suburban Schools
Natasha Warikoo
University of Chicago Press, 2022
An illuminating, in-depth look at competition in suburban high schools with growing numbers of Asian Americans, where white parents are determined to ensure that their children remain at the head of the class.
 
The American suburb conjures an image of picturesque privilege: manicured lawns, quiet streets, and—most important to parents—high-quality schools. These elite enclaves are also historically white, allowing many white Americans to safeguard their privileges by using public schools to help their children enter top colleges. That’s changing, however, as Asian American professionals increasingly move into wealthy suburban areas to give their kids that same leg up for their college applications and future careers.
 
As Natasha Warikoo shows in Race at the Top, white and Asian parents alike will do anything to help their children get to the top of the achievement pile. She takes us into the affluent suburban East Coast school she calls “Woodcrest High,” with a student body about one-half white and one-third Asian American. As increasing numbers of Woodcrest’s Asian American students earn star-pupil status, many whites feel displaced from the top of the academic hierarchy, and their frustrations grow. To maintain their children’s edge, some white parents complain to the school that schoolwork has become too rigorous. They also emphasize excellence in extracurriculars like sports and theater, which maintains their children’s advantage.

Warikoo reveals how, even when they are bested, white families in Woodcrest work to change the rules in their favor so they can remain the winners of the meritocracy game. Along the way, Warikoo explores urgent issues of racial and economic inequality that play out in affluent suburban American high schools. Caught in a race for power and privilege at the very top of society, what families in towns like Woodcrest fail to see is that everyone in their race is getting a medal—the children who actually lose are those living beyond their town’s boundaries.
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Reading Practice
The Pursuit of Natural Knowledge from Manuscript to Print
Melissa Reynolds
University of Chicago Press, 2024
Through portraits of readers and their responses to texts, Reading Practice reconstructs the contours of the knowledge economy that shaped medicine and science in early modern England.
 
Reading Practice tells the story of how ordinary people grew comfortable learning from commonplace manuscripts and printed books, such as almanacs, medical recipe collections, and herbals. From the turn of the fifteenth century to the close of the sixteenth century, these were the books English people read when they wanted to attend to their health or understand their place in the universe. Before then, these works had largely been the purview of those who could read Latin. Around 1400, however, medical and scientific texts became available in Middle English while manuscripts became less expensive. These vernacular manuscripts invited their readers into a very old and learned conversation: Hippocrates and Galen weren’t distant authorities whose word was law, they were trusted guides, whose advice could be excerpted, rearranged, recombined, and even altered to suit a manuscript compiler’s needs. This conversation continued even after the printing press arrived in England in 1476. Printers mined manuscripts for medical and scientific texts that they would publish throughout the sixteenth century, though the pressures of a commercial printing market encouraged printers to package these old texts in new ways. Without the weight of authority conditioning their reactions and responses to very old knowledge, and with so many editions of practical books to choose from, English readers grew into confident critics and purveyors of natural knowledge in their own right.
 
Melissa Reynolds reconstructs shifting attitudes toward medicine and science over two centuries of seismic change within English culture, attending especially to the effects of the Reformation on attitudes toward nature and the human body. Her study shows how readers learned to be discerning and selective consumers of knowledge gradually, through everyday interactions with utilitarian books.
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Samuel Steward and the Pursuit of the Erotic Sexuality, Literature, Archives
Sexuality, Literature, Archives
Debra A. Moddelmog, Martin Joseph Ponce
The Ohio State University Press, 2017
Samuel Steward and the Pursuit of the Erotic: Sexuality, Literature, Archives examines one of the most fascinating sexual renegades of the twentieth century and the social, cultural, pedagogical, and erotic projects with which he was engaged. This innovative collection, edited by Debra A. Moddelmog and Martin Joseph Ponce, examines the life and work of Samuel Steward at their most daring and controversial. Samuel Steward—writer, literature professor, visual artist, tattoo artist, sexual archivist, unofficial sexologist, and vernacular pornographer—gave voice and vision to some of the central concerns of twentieth-century U.S. gay culture and politics. These essays frame Steward not merely as an associate or a lover of more well-known luminaries but as a significant cultural figure in his own right, one whose work anticipated some of the current aims and methods of queer studies.
With work by prominent scholars in queer, transgender, and sexuality studies, and with topics such as the queer archive, hoarding, masochism, the queer mystery, race and desire, sexology, and gay pornography, Samuel Steward and the Pursuit of the Erotic will appeal to a wide range of readers across a variety of disciplines invested in queer experience. Closing on a personal recollection from one of Steward’s last close friends, the volume will also appeal to readers interested in the personal aspects of this fascinating, idiosyncratic figure’s multifaceted life.
 
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Seattle Sports
Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City
Terry Anne Scott
University of Arkansas Press, 2020

Seattle Sports: Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City, edited by Terry Anne Scott, explores the vast and varied history of sports in this city where diversity and social progress are reflected in and reinforced by play. The work gathered here covers Seattle’s professional sports culture as well as many of the city’s lesser-known figures and sports milestones. Fresh, nuanced takes on the Seattle Mariners, Supersonics, and Seahawks are joined by essays on gay softball leagues, city court basketball, athletics in local Japanese American communities during the interwar years, ultimate, the fierce women of roller derby, and much more. Together, these essays create a vivid portrait of Seattle fans, who, in supporting their teams—often in rain, sometimes in the midst of seismic activity—check the country’s implicit racial bias by rallying behind outspoken local sporting heroes.

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Strategic Choices for a Turbulent World
In Pursuit of Security and Opportunity
Andrew R. Hoehn
RAND Corporation, 2017
This report is the last of a six-volume series in which RAND explores the elements of a national strategy for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. It analyzes U.S. strengths and weaknesses, and suggests adaptations for this new era of turbulence and uncertainty. The report offers three alternative strategic concepts and evaluates their underlying assumptions, costs, risks, and constraints.
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T Bone Burnett
A Life in Pursuit
By Lloyd Sachs
University of Texas Press, 2016

This first critical appreciation of T Bone Burnett reveals how the proponent of Americana music and producer of artists ranging from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to B. B. King and Elvis Costello has profoundly influenced American music and culture.

T Bone Burnett is a unique, astonishingly prolific music producer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and soundtrack visionary. Renowned as a studio maven with a Midas touch, Burnett is known for lifting artists to their greatest heights, as he did with Raising Sand, the multiple Grammy Award–winning album by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, as well as acclaimed albums by Los Lobos, the Wallflowers, B. B. King, and Elvis Costello. Burnett virtually invented “Americana” with his hugely successful roots-based soundtrack for the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Outspoken in his contempt for the entertainment industry, Burnett has nevertheless received many of its highest honors, including Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.

T Bone Burnett offers the first critical appreciation of Burnett’s wide-ranging contributions to American music, his passionate advocacy for analog sound, and the striking contradictions that define his maverick artistry. Lloyd Sachs highlights all the important aspects of Burnett’s musical pursuits, from his early days as a member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and his collaboration with the playwright Sam Shepard to the music he recently composed for the TV shows Nashville and True Detective and his production of the all-star album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes. Sachs also underscores Burnett’s brilliance as a singer-songwriter in his own right. Going well beyond the labels “legendary” or “visionary” that usually accompany his name, T Bone Burnett reveals how this consummate music maker has exerted a powerful influence on American music and culture across four decades.

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The Tokyo War Crimes Trial
The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II
Yuma Totani
Harvard University Press, 2008

This book assesses the historical significance of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE)—commonly called the Tokyo trial—established as the eastern counterpart of the Nuremberg trial in the immediate aftermath of World War II.

Through extensive research in Japanese, American, Australian, and Indian archives, Yuma Totani taps into a large body of previously underexamined sources to explore some of the central misunderstandings and historiographical distortions that have persisted to the present day. Foregrounding these voluminous records, Totani disputes the notion that the trial was an exercise in “victors’ justice” in which the legal process was egregiously compromised for political and ideological reasons; rather, the author details the achievements of the Allied prosecution teams in documenting war crimes and establishing the responsibility of the accused parties to show how the IMTFE represented a sound application of the legal principles established at Nuremberg.

This study deepens our knowledge of the historical intricacies surrounding the Tokyo trial and advances our understanding of the Japanese conduct of war and occupation during World War II, the range of postwar debates on war guilt, and the relevance of the IMTFE to the continuing development of international humanitarian law.

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Tudoresque
In Pursuit of the Ideal Home
Andrew Ballantyne and Andrew Law
Reaktion Books, 2011

With its distinctive gables and arches, Tudor-style architecture is recognized around the world as a symbol of British culture; it represents the idea of home to British citizens in the United Kingdom and abroad. Some love it, others hate it, but the Tudoresque is still being built—to give a house an old-fashioned air or to create a sense of exotica. Yet few people know anything about how Tudor Revival buildings came to be. To fill this gap is Tudoresque, an insightful book that explores the origin of the style, tracing its roots to the antiquarian enthusiasms of the eighteenth century.

It looks at the Tudoresque cottage style, which later influenced 1930s architecture, and the Tudor-style manor house, particularly favored in the nineteenth century. While the style has been discouraged since the 1920s (and is especially reviled by modernists) it continues to be a popular choice—particularly when the architect doesn’t have the upper hand. The authors here show how the style is the mainstream of twentieth-century British architecture and explore how it has travelled abroad. From Tudor Village in Queens to Stan Hywet Hall in Akron to Malaysia, Shanghai, and Singapore, Tudor Revival has found a comfortable home across the globe. These black and white gabled buildings are important not so much because they are great architecture, but because they are everywhere.

Illustrated with images from more than 200 years of the Tudor Revival, and including examples from Britain, America, India and East Asia, this knowledgable and entertaining book will be an indispensable guide to the one of the world’s most iconic architectural styles.
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Uncle Sam’s Policemen
The Pursuit of Fugitives across Borders
Katherine Unterman
Harvard University Press, 2015

Extraordinary rendition—the practice of abducting criminal suspects in locations around the world—has been criticized as an unprecedented expansion of U.S. police powers. But America’s aggressive pursuit of fugitives beyond its borders far predates the global war on terror. Uncle Sam’s Policemen investigates the history of international manhunts, arguing that the extension of U.S. law enforcement into foreign jurisdictions at the turn of the twentieth century forms an important chapter in the story of American empire.

In the late 1800s, expanding networks of railroads and steamships made it increasingly easy for criminals to evade justice. Recognizing that domestic law and order depended on projecting legal authority abroad, President Theodore Roosevelt declared in 1903 that the United States would “leave no place on earth” for criminals to hide. Charting the rapid growth of extradition law, Katherine Unterman shows that the United States had fifty-eight treaties with thirty-six nations by 1900—more than any other country. American diplomats put pressure on countries that served as extradition havens, particularly in Latin America, and cloak-and-dagger tactics such as the kidnapping of fugitives by Pinkerton detectives were fair game—a practice explicitly condoned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The most wanted fugitives of this period were not anarchists and political agitators but embezzlers and defrauders—criminals who threatened the emerging corporate capitalist order. By the early twentieth century, the long arm of American law stretched around the globe, creating an informal empire that complemented both military and economic might.

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Under the Knife
Cosmetic Surgery, Boundary Work, and the Pursuit of the Natural Fake
Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves
Temple University Press, 2020
Most women who elect to have cosmetic surgery want a “natural” outcome—a discrete alteration of the body that appears unaltered. Under the Knife examines this theme in light of a cultural paradox. Whereas women are encouraged to improve their appearance, there is also a stigma associated with those who do so via surgery.  

Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves reveal how women negotiate their “unnatural”—but hopefully (in their view) natural-looking—surgically-altered bodies. Based on in-depth interviews with forty-six women who underwent cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearance, the authors investigate motivations for surgery as well as women’s thoughts about looking natural after the procedures. Under the Knife dissects the psychological and physical strategies these women use to manage the expectations, challenges, and disappointments of cosmetic surgery while also addressing issues of agency and empowerment. It shows how different cultural intersections can produce varied goals and values around body improvement. 

Under the Knife highlights the role of deep-seated yet contradictory gendered meanings about women’s bodies, passing, and boundary work. The authors also consider traditional notions of femininity and normalcy that trouble women’s struggle to preserve an authentic moral self.
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What Should Schools Teach?
Disciplines, Subjects and the Pursuit of Truth
Edited by Alka Sehgal Cuthbert and Alex Standish
University College London, 2021
A robust rationale on what schools should teach and how.

The design of school curricula involves deep thought about the nature of knowledge and its value to learners and society. Such a serious responsibility raises a number of questions: What is knowledge for? What knowledge is important for children to learn? How do we decide what knowledge matters in each school subject? The blurring of distinctions between pedagogy and curriculum, as well as that between experience and knowledge, has resulted in a confusing message for teachers about the part that each plays in the education of children. This book aims to dispel confusion through a robust rationale for what schools should teach, offering key understanding to teachers of the relationship between knowledge and their own pedagogy. This second edition includes new chapters on chemistry, drama, music, and religious education, as well as an updated chapter on biology. A revised introduction reflects on the emerging discourse around decolonizing the curriculum and on the relationship between the knowledge that children encounter at school and in their homes.
 
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Writing Placement in Two-Year Colleges
The Pursuit of Equality in Postsecondary Education
Jessica Nastal
University Press of Colorado, 2023
Writing Placement in Two-Year Colleges brings together two-year college teacher-scholar-activists from across the U.S. to share stories, strategies, and data about local efforts at reforming writing placement assessment to advance educational access and equity. The chapters in this edited collection help faculty and writing program administrators navigate the shifting landscape of placement in the 2020s. Contributors demonstrate how two-year colleges have addressed local and state-level pressures for reform, especially at a time when the nation has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic with its inequitable economic, social, and physical toll.
 
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