Monthly Archives: July 2007

Chicago’s new director announced

July 4, 2007
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Chicago’s new director announced

Garrett P. Kiely has been named as the new Director of the University of Chicago Press. The news was released yesterday by the Office of the Provost. Kiely is an academic publishing veteran and currently President of Palgrave Macmillan (formerly St. Martin’s Press Scholarly & Reference Division). He will begin his duties as director at Chicago on September 1. At Palgrave, Kiely previously served as both Sales and Marketing Director, and as Vice President of the Scholarly and Reference Division. Kiely succeeds Paula Barker Duffy, who led the Press since 2000. Chris Heiser, Deputy Director of the Press, will serve as Interim Director, beginning July 1. . . .

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On the West Bank, It’s Still Cynicism as Usual

July 3, 2007
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On the West Bank, It’s Still Cynicism as Usual

An essay by David Shulman, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine. Israeli peace activists don’t expect to be popular. Although by all accounts most Israelis do want peace and would accept any reasonable compromise, they normally react with bitter scorn and hatred for anyone who seems to cross the lines. Organizations like mine, Ta’ayush—“Jewish-Arab Partnership,” one of the most effective of the peace groups operating at the grassroots level in the occupied territories—are viewed as naïve at best, treasonous at worst. Last month’s events in Gaza confirmed everyone’s worst prejudices. “You want to make peace with them?” my neighbors asked me in supercilious tones. “Can’t you see that they’re all violent thugs? Why are you helping them?” . . .

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Review: Kripal, Esalen

July 2, 2007
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Review: Kripal, Esalen

The current issue of the Atlantic Monthly is running a great review of Jeffrey Kripal’s new book Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. The review begins by describing Esalen as “equally a phenomenon and an institute” responsible for fostering many of the revolutionary ideas of the 1960s counterculture and playing host to its most notable figures—people like Kerouac, Leary, and Ginsberg, just to name a few. The review goes on to praise Kripal’s new book for managing a rather lucid investigation of this counter-cultural hothouse, despite his psychedelic subject matter: Kripal, a religious-studies professor at Rice University, examines Esalen’s extraordinary history and evocatively describes the breech birth of Murphy and Price’s brain child. His real achievement though is effortlessly synthesizing a dizzying array of dissonant phenomena (Cold War espionage, ecstatic religiosity) incongruous pairings (Darwinism, Tantric Sex), and otherwise schizy ephemera (psychedelic drugs, spaceflight) into a cogent, satisfyingly complete narrative. The he reconciles all this while barely batting an eye is remarkable; that he does so while writing with such élan is nothing short of wondrous. Read an excerpt from the book. . . .

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