Monthly Archives: April 2006

Review: Knight, Citizen

April 28, 2006
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Review: Knight, Citizen

The New York Review of Books recently praised Louise W. Knight’s Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. From the review by Alan Ryan: " is enviably well-written and deeply engrossing, and a considerable addition to the literature, not just on an extraordinary woman, but on an extraordinary epoch.… Louise Knight has a particular talent for writing as though she knows at any point in the narrative no more than her heroine does of what is about to befall her next; it is a technique that suits her subject perfectly."

Jane Addams was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This masterful biography reveals her early development as a political activist and social philosopher in lively detail and with deep appreciation for motive and character. In Citizen, we observe the powerful mind of a woman encountering the radical ideas of her age, most notably the ever-changing meanings of democracy.

Read an excerpt.

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Press release: Johnson, The Lavender Scare

April 28, 2006
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Press release: Johnson, The Lavender Scare

From 1950 to 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy and his infamous list of "Reds" were at the center of every major congressional debate. These days, most Americans know that hundreds of government employees faced professional and personal devastation as a result of his rampant accusations. But few of us know of the lavender scare that McCarthy’s charges also engendered—a witch hunt against "sex perverts" who had apparently infiltrated government agencies. The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government traces the origins of contemporary sexual politics to this Cold War hysteria.… Read the press release.

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Review: Yenser, Blue Guide

April 27, 2006
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Review: Yenser, Blue Guide

The LA Weekly recently published a favorable review of Stephen Yenser’s Blue Guide. From the review by Tom Cheyney: "Yenser’s new collection, Blue Guide, inhabits a creative zone where playful formalism coexists comfortably with flights of free association and jazz improvisation, where keenly skewed observations ripple through a steady-flowing current of parental and fraternal love and seriously tweaked humor.… He deeply cares about humankind but can’t overcome entropy’s overwhelming yank and pull or capture memory’s elusive clarity for long. Fond of alliteration, pun and cadence, Yenser seeks out syllabic and sonorous synchronicities.… Whether perused on the page or heard aloud, Yenser’s poems reveal a contender in our midst."

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Press release: Adamczyk, When God Looked the Other Way

April 27, 2006
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Press release: Adamczyk, When God Looked the Other Way

A memoir of a childhood spent in unspeakable circumstances, When God Looked the Other Way: An Odyssey of War, Exile, and Redemption illuminates one of the darkest periods of European history—the Soviet Union’s quiet yet brutal campaign against Polish citizens during World War II. Wesley Adamczyk’s gripping memoir now gives voice to the hundreds of thousands of victims of Soviet barbarism.… Read the press release.

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Press release: Lanham, Economics of Attention

April 27, 2006
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Press release: Lanham, Economics of Attention

Economics, as you may remember from ECON 101, is about the allocation of scare resources. There is an irony, therefore, to the overused phrase information economy, because information is hardly in short supply. From Google to Wikipedia to the dramatic rise of the blogosphere, we’re not lacking information, we’re drowning in it. What’s really scarce in our age of information is the attention necessary to make sense of it all.

Enter Richard Lanham, author of the critically acclaimed The Electronic Word, a 1993 New York Times notable book of the year that was prescient in the way it forecasted our epochal move from page to screen and the profound effects of the Internet on the way we read, write, and communicate to one another. According to Lanham, in order to understand our latest regime, we need to think of it as an economics of attention—one in which the essential commodities of our time are no longer things or stuff, but style, for style is what competes for our attention amidst the din and deluge of new media.

With all the verve and erudition of Lanham’s earlier work, The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information tackles . . .

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Review: Kenney, Jazz on the River

April 26, 2006
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Review: Kenney, Jazz on the River

The Journal of American History recently reviewed William Howland Kenney’s Jazz on the River: "The history of how riverboat entertainment venues shaped the evolution of jazz receives long-overdue analysis in this thorough and sensitive study.… By locating jazz ‘on the river,’ Kenney draws a picture of the Jazz Age that shifts attention from the nightclubs and dance halls of major cities, broadening the social and occupational histories of the first four decades of jazz performance. His portrait of aspiring musicians who used the river to enhance their social mobility also brings a new dimension to our understanding of the Great Migration. For Kenney, the shifting racial and cultural tensions communicated through jazz resound as jazzmen riff on the ever-shifting currents of these great heartland rivers."

In Jazz on the River, William Howland Kenney brings to life the vibrant history of this music and its seduction of the men and women along America’s inland waterways. Here for the first time readers can learn about the lives and music of the levee roustabouts promoting riverboat jazz and their relationships with such great early jazz adventurers as Louis Armstrong, Fate Marable, Warren "Baby" Dodds, and Jess Stacy.

Read an excerpt.

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Review: Bruegmann, Sprawl

April 26, 2006
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Review: Bruegmann, Sprawl

The London Review of Books recently praised Robert Bruegmann’s Sprawl: A Compact History. From the review by Andrew Saint: "To judge whether sprawl is a symptom of global capitalism at its most rampant and wasteful … technical arguments must be addressed. Bruegmann takes us through them lucidly and economically, neither flinching from nor getting mired in detail, and steering deftly between neo-con smugness and liberal anguish. These qualities make Sprawl a textbook for our times."

In his incisive history of the expanded city, Bruegmann overturns every assumption we have about sprawl. Taking a long view of urban development, he demonstrates that sprawl is neither recent nor particularly American but as old as cities themselves, just as characteristic of ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Paris as it is of Atlanta or Los Angeles. Nor is sprawl the disaster claimed by many contemporary observers. Although sprawl, like any settlement pattern, has undoubtedly produced problems that must be addressed, it has also provided millions of people with the kinds of mobility, privacy, and choice that were once the exclusive prerogatives of the rich and powerful.

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Press release: Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

April 26, 2006
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Press release: Wright, Financial Founding Fathers

When you think of the founding fathers, you think of men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—exceptional minds and matchless statesmen who led the colonies to a seemingly impossible victory over the British and established the constitutional and legal framework for our democratic government. But the American Revolution was about far more than freedom and liberty. It was about economics as well.

In Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich, Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen chronicle how a different group of founding fathers forged the wealth and institutions necessary to transform the American colonies from a diffuse alliance of contending business interests into one cohesive economic superpower. From Alexander Hamilton to Andrew Jackson, the authors focus on the lives of nine Americans in particular—some famous, some unknown, others misunderstood, but all among our nation’s financial founding fathers.… Read the press release.

Read an excerpt.

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Press release: Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

April 26, 2006
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Press release: Miller, Reluctant Capitalists

In a time when the arrival of yet another Starbucks, Best Buy, or Borders to a neighborhood is viewed as routine, the presence of the chain bookstores is still challenged by a formidable contingent of book buyers who consider the association between books and mass consumerism as crass. In Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption, Laura J. Miller explores what it is about books that elicit such passions in consumers, and why the business of selling books is viewed with such skepticism by book lovers.… Read the press release.

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Academy of Arts and Sciences fellows announced

April 25, 2006
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Academy of Arts and Sciences fellows announced

The Press is pleased to announce that several of its authors have been named Academy of Arts and Sciences fellows for 2006. Fellowships recognize "individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large." The induction ceremony will take place on October 7 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Press authors receiving the honor include:

Ian Ayres, author of Optional Law and Pervasive Prejudice?

Alberto Alesina, editor of Politics and Economics in the Eighties

Charles Bernstein, author of several Press titles

Michael Dawson, author of Black Visions

Reid Hastie, co-author of Punitive Damages

Ha Jin, author of Between Silences

Michael Murrin, author of History and Warfare in Renaissance Epic

Anne L. Poulet, author of Jean-Antoine Houdon

William B. Provine, author of several Press titles

David H. Romer, co-editor of Reducing Inflation

James H. Stock, co-editor of Business Cycles, Indicators, and Forecasting

Rosmarie Waldrop, translator of The Book of Margins and The Book of Shares

View the complete list of 2006 fellows.

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