Monthly Archives: June 2007

Review: Amenta, Professor Baseball

June 20, 2007
By
Review: Amenta, Professor Baseball

John Sugden recently reviewed Edwin Amenta’s memoir of amateur sport, Professor Baseball: Searching for Redemption and the Perfect Lineup on the Softball Diamonds of Central Park for the June 8 Times Higher Education Supplement. A British academic periodical might seem like an unlikely prospect for a book about a thoroughly American game, but Sugden swings for the fences: One hot and humid summer when Professor Edwin Amenta should have been hard at work at home or in his office in the sociology department of New York University—finishing up his book on pensions organizations in Depression-era America—”Eddy” could be found roaming the recreational spaces of Central Park indulging in the very serious business of playing softball.… At one level, Professor Baseball is a straightforward diary of Amenta’s successes and failures over one summer season in the several teams on which he plays and the one of which he is player-manager. At another, the book is a narrative account of one person’s lived-through obsession. It is a coming-of-middle-age tale of a fortysomething man, with fatherhood imminent, trying to come to terms with changing fortunes in his professional and personal life. Above all, it is about his forlorn and ultimately doomed quest for . . .

Read more »

Press Release: Massad, Desiring Arabs

June 20, 2007
By
Press Release: Massad, Desiring Arabs

The shocking human rights violations at Abu Ghraib and the use of sexual humiliation to interrogate inmates at Guantánamo Bay have become notorious flashpoints in the debate over America’s recent interventions in the Arab world. That these abhorrent techniques were specifically adopted for their effectiveness against Arabs points to a racist and sexually charged power dynamic at the root of the U.S. conquest of Iraq—a dynamic born from centuries of Western assumptions about Arab sexuality. These assumptions have been disputed ever since Edward Said’s Orientalism sparked fierce debate over the biases at the heart of Western study of the Arab world. But left out of this argument was the history of how Arabs themselves wrote and thought about their own sexual desires. In Desiring Arabs, Joseph Massad brings to light the other side of the story by investigating a massive compendium of overlooked Arabic writing from the nineteenth century to the present. This unprecedented study is a much-needed look at how Western discourse on sex has shaped the Arab world. Read the press release. . . .

Read more »

The Borjas Blog

June 18, 2007
By
The Borjas Blog

George J. Borjas, professor of economics and history at Harvard University and author of the recently published Mexican Immigration to the United States, recently started a blog at http://borjas.typepad.com/the_borjas_blog/. With posts on everything from “rockonomics” to the political economy of immigration, Borjas’s blog should be a first stop for anyone looking for insight into some of the nation’s hottest issues, and especially immigration reform in the United States. . . .

Read more »

Press Release: Borjas, Mexican Immigration to the United States

June 18, 2007
By
Press Release: Borjas, Mexican Immigration to the United States

On May 1, Mexican immigrants took to the streets in cities across America to demand a living wage, greater access to health care, and an easier path to legal status. Meanwhile, cable news pundits and newspaper columnists breathlessly debated the implications of their growing numbers—they now account for over 28 percent of all foreign-born inhabitants of the United States. But despite the visibility of Mexican immigrants in the media, little is known about their real impact on American society. Why do Mexican immigrants gain citizenship and employment at a slower rate than non-Mexicans? Does their migration to the United States adversely affect the working conditions of lower-skilled workers already residing there? And how rapid is intergenerational mobility among Mexican immigrant families? Data is needed to answer these questions and inform policymakers and concerned citizens alike about the reality behind the headlines. In Mexican Immigration to the United States, the world’s foremost economists report startling new findings on an immigrant influx whose size and character will force us to rethink economic policy for decades to come. For anyone seeking to cut through the rhetoric—and understand the future of social conditions and economic opportunities in both countries—Mexican Immigration to the United States . . .

Read more »

Press Release: Epstein, Inclusion

June 15, 2007
By
Press Release: Epstein, Inclusion

Equal parts medical drama, political chronicle, and ringing polemic, Inclusion tells the story of the movement for a more inclusive approach to medical research, from the struggles of advocacy groups in the 1980s to force researchers to diversify their subject pools to the current model, under which drug companies make bold assertions that group differences in society are encoded in our biology. While Epstein appreciates the hope that more inclusive practices offer to traditionally underserved groups, he argues forcefully that these practices can overshadow far more important social inequities and will only make a real difference if tied to a broad-based effort to address health disparities. Read the press release. . . .

Read more »

Nagl on The World

June 14, 2007
By
Nagl on The World

Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl was interviewed Monday on The World to talk about the new U.S. strategy for fighting the insurgency in Iraq, which involves arming and supporting Sunni’s who, at one time, were themselves insurgents. Nagl spoke to the issue from the historical perspective of his book Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Nagl also co-authored and contributed a foreword to our edition of The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, which will be published on July 4. Additionally, Nagl has written a foreword to a little book we plucked out of the archives of the U.S. Army and will publish a little later this summer, Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq during World War II. Read the new preface to Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife. Updated: Read “Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations” and Nagl’s foreword to The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. . . .

Read more »

Ashley Gilbertson on Fresh Air

June 13, 2007
By
Ashley Gilbertson on Fresh Air

Ashley Gilbertson, whose words and photographs we will publish later this year in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer’s Chronicle of the Iraq War, was interviewed today on WHYY’s Fresh Air. Gilbertson arrived in Iraq on the eve of the American invasion, hoping to pick up some picture assignments. He landed a contract with the New York Times, and his extraordinary images of life and death in Iraq chronicled the invasion, the occupation of Baghdad, the battle for Falluja, the Iraqi elections, and much more over the past four years. In the Fresh Air interview, he discusses his experiences, his photography, and new restrictions the U.S. government has placed on photographs of soldiers. We will have much more to say about Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as the fall season progresses. Stay tuned. Updated: We have a special website for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. . . .

Read more »

American icons

June 12, 2007
By
American icons

Images have become an indelible part of our daily lives with the power to radically transform the way we view the world around us. The summer 2007 edition of Bookforum is running an interesting discussion of two new books that explore the tremendous social power of the image and the various ways they have shaped our modern culture. Reviewer David Levi Strauss notes the essays in Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain for offering an insightful critique of the public impact of depictions of suffering. With a special focus on the popular media during 9/11 and its aftermath, these essays explore the inherently problematic issue confronted by many artists and photojournalists who seek to produce aesthetic beauty in their art, even as they document the most painful of human suffering. Strauss’s article places this insightful critique of our visual culture side by side with that of another book, Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites’s recently published No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy. According to Strauss, Hariman and Lucaites’s No Caption Needed “‘ the presumption that visual media categorically degrade public rationality.'” The review continues: approach photojournalism as “an important technology of liberal . . .

Read more »

Robert Seyfarth on Radio Times

June 11, 2007
By
Robert Seyfarth on Radio Times

Robert Seyfarth, co-author of Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind was recently featured on WHYY Philadelphia ‘s Radio Times with host Marty Moss-Coane. According to the Radio Times website, Seyfarth draws from his new book to discuss how “baboons relate to each other and understand their place in the world as well as what can we learn from them about human behavior.” Archived audio of the radio show is available via the WHYY Radio Times website. In Baboon Metaphysics Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert Seyfarth aim to fully comprehend the intelligence that underlies baboon’s social organization. How do baboons actually conceive of the world and their place in it? Using innovative field experiments, the authors test whether baboons understand kinship relations, how they make use of vocal communication, and how they manage the stress and dangers of life in the wild. They learn that for baboons, just as for humans, family and friends hold the key to mitigating the ill effects of grief, stress, and anxiety. Written with a scientist’s precision and a nature-lover’s eye, Baboon Metaphysics gives us an unprecedented and compelling glimpse into the mind of another species. Read an excerpt from the book. . . .

Read more »

When the Press Fails

June 8, 2007
By
When the Press Fails

The authors of When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina recently posted an interesting summary of their book on Jay Rosen’s blog Press Think. In the posting W. Lance Bennett, Regina Lawrence, and Steven Livingston outlined their critique of the post 9/11 news media, in which they explore its inability to “resist the ever-present spin of those in power”—focusing especially on the Bush administration’s various bids to sell the war in Iraq to the American public. When the Press Fails was also featured in a recent editorial piece by Don Wycliff in the Chicago Tribune. Wycliff writes: According to the authors of a new book on press coverage of the Bush administration, the president and his people actually have enjoyed until relatively recently the acquiescence of a timid, compliant, intimidated press. The Iraq war, which has become possibly the gravest foreign policy blunder in U.S. history, is the most disastrous result of that acquiescence, say political scientists W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence and Steven Livingston in When the Press Fails. The review continues: are indisputably right about the news media’s dereliction in covering the administration’s campaign to take the nation . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors