Press Releases

Press Release: Miller, Watch

October 14, 2009
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Press Release: Miller, Watch

In Watch, Greg Miller describes a fresh purposefulness in his life and achieves a new level of poetic thinking and composition in his writing. Artfully combining the religious and secular worldviews in his own sense of human culture, Miller complicates our understanding of all three. The poems in Watch sift layers of natural and human history across several continents, observing paintings, archeological digs, cityscapes, seascapes, landscapes—all in an attempt to envision a clear, grounded spiritual life. Employing an impressive array of traditional meters and various kinds of free verse, Miller’s poems celebrate communities both invented and real. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Bogen, An Alegbra

October 13, 2009
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Press Release: Bogen, An Alegbra

An Algebra is an interwoven collection of eight sequences and sixteen individual poems, where images and phrases recur in new contexts, connecting and suspending thoughts, emotions and insights. By turns, the poems leap from the public realm of urban decay and outsourcing to the intimacies of family life, from a street mime to a haunting dream, from elegy to lyric evocation. Wholeness and brokenness intertwine in the book; glimpsed patterns and startling disjunctions drive its explorations. An Algebra is a work of changing equivalents, a search for balance in a world of transformation and loss. It is a brilliantly constructed, moving book by a poet who has achieved a new level of imaginative expression and skill. Read the press release. . . .

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Press Release: Melia, Cracking the Einstein Code

October 7, 2009
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Press Release: Melia, Cracking the Einstein Code

Because Albert Einstein’s equations so accurately describe the world around us, they seem timeless. But in truth, we have only understood how to apply his theory of general relativity for less than fifty years. When Einstein published his description of the effect of gravitation on the shape of space and the flow of time in 1916, few scientists knew what to do with it. Enter Roy Kerr, a twenty-nine-year-old Cambridge graduate who solved the great riddle in 1963. The solution he proposed emerged coincidentally with the discovery of black holes that same year and provided fertile testing ground—at long last—for general relativity. Today scientists routinely cite the Kerr solution, but even among specialists few know the story of how Kerr cracked Einstein’s code. Part biography, part chronicle of scientific discovery, Cracking the Einstein Code unmasks the history behind the search for a real-world solution to Einstein’s field equations. Offering an eyewitness account of the events leading up to Kerr’s great discovery, Fulvio Melia vividly describes how luminaries such as Karl Schwarzschild, David Hilbert, and Emmy Noether set the stage for the Kerr solution; how Kerr came to make his breakthrough; and how scientists such as Roger Penrose, Kip Thorne, and . . .

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Press Release: Forsberg, Great Plains

October 6, 2009
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Press Release: Forsberg, Great Plains

Spanning the area west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains once ranked among the most magnificent grasslands on the planet, second only to the Serengeti in sheer size, grandeur, and biodiversity. But today this broad expanse of prairie and steppe is among the most endangered ecosystems in the entire world. Here award-winning photographer Michael Forsberg—a frequent contributor to such publications as National Geographic, Audubon, National Wildlife, and Natural History—reveals the lingering wild that still survives on the Plains and whose diverse natural communities, landscapes, and native flora and fauna together create one extraordinary whole. Featuring contributions from novelist and wildlife biologist Dan O’Brien, noted geographer and environmentalist David Wishart, and American poet laureate Ted Kooser, Great Plains features 150 stunning full-color images along with literary, historical, and scientific passages that bring this extraordinary part of the country into more vivid focus than ever before. Most Americans know little about the landscape, wildlife, and history of this vast part of our country. But here, the beauty and majesty of the Great Plains come alive in all their quiet glory. Read the press release. Also see a gallery of photographs from the book, or these . . .

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Press Release: Posner, The Perils of Global Legalism

October 5, 2009
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Press Release: Posner, The Perils of Global Legalism

From the Geneva Conventions to the United Nations to the International Criminal Court, the steady progress of international law has been hailed by politicians and the general public alike, representing a perpetual hope that conflict between nations need not end in belligerence, unilateralism, and war. Eric Posner believes that’s a naïve—and even dangerous—way of understanding how nations behave, and with The Perils of Global Legalism he lays waste to the illusion that international law will ever offer a meaningful alternative to the reality of nations acting in their own self-interest. After tracing the historical roots of the concept, Posner explains the fundamental problems of legitimacy and enforcement that render international law toothless; then, drawing on examples from land mine bans and free trade to NATO’s invasion of Serbia, he goes on to demonstrate that time and again, when faced with tough choices, leaders have blatantly disregarded international agreements in the name of perceived national interests. As the Obama administration’s foreign policy—and its approach to international law—faces its first real tests in the coming years, The Perils of Global Legalism will be essential reading. Read the press release. Also read an excerpt. . . .

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Press Release: Ford, Soldier Field

October 2, 2009
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Press Release: Ford, Soldier Field

As fall beckons with changing leaves and shortening days, one thing is certain: NFL football is back, and Chicagoans everywhere are packing their coolers and grills for a trip to Soldier Field. For decades, the stadium’s signature columns provided an iconic backdrop for the Chicago Bears, but few realize that it has been much more than that. Soldier Field: A Stadium and Its City explores how this amphitheater evolved from a public war memorial into a majestic arena that helped define Chicago. Chicago Tribune staff writer Liam T. A. Ford led the reporting on the stadium’s 2003 renovation—and simultaneously found himself unearthing a dramatic history. As he tells it, the tale of Soldier Field truly is the story of Chicago, filled with political intrigue and civic pride. Designed by Holabird and Roche, Soldier Field arose through a serendipitous combination of local tax dollars, City Beautiful boosterism, and the machinations of Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson. The result was a stadium that stood at the center of Chicago’s political, cultural, and sporting life for nearly sixty years, long before the arrival of Walter Payton and William “the Refrigerator” Perry. Ford describes it all in the voice of a seasoned reporter: the high . . .

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Press Release: Walls, Passage to Cosmos

October 2, 2009
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Press Release: Walls, Passage to Cosmos

This month marks the 240th anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt. Although today he is less well known than some of the luminaries he inspired, Humboldt was the most famous intellectual of the age that began with Napoleon and ended with Darwin. With The Passage to Cosmos, Humboldt remerges for a new age. Here, Laura Dassow Wall traces Humboldt’s ideas for Cosmos, the book that crowned his career, to his 1799 journey to the Americas, where he first experienced the diversity of nature and of the world’s peoples—and envisioned a new cosmopolitanism that would link ideas, disciplines, and nations into a global web of knowledge and cultures. In reclaiming Humboldt’s transcultural and transdisciplinary project, Walls situates America in a lively and contested field of ideas, actions, and interests, and reaches beyond to a new worldview that integrates the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities. To the end of his life, Humboldt called himself “half an American,” but ironically his legacy has largely faded in the United States. The Passage to Cosmos will reintroduce this seminal thinker to a new audience and return America to its rightful place in the story of his life, work, and . . .

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Press Release: Shweder, The Child

September 14, 2009
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Press Release: Shweder, The Child

Vetted by some of the most distinguished child development researchers in the world, The Child broadens the current scope of knowledge on children and childhood. It is an unparalleled resource for parents, social workers, researchers, educators, and others who work with children. Each entry in this one-volume encyclopedia begins with a concise and accessible synopsis of the topic at hand. For example, the entry for “adoption” begins with a general definition, followed by a detailed look at adoption in different cultures and at different times, a summary of the associated mental and developmental issues that can arise, and an overview of applicable legal and public policy both within the United States and elsewhere. The Child includes multiple cross-references to guide readers toward related topics and suggestions for further reading. The Child also includes over forty “Imagining Each Other” essays that present vivid and iconic case studies of child-raising practices in specific cultural settings. In “Work before Play for Yucatec Maya Children,” for example, readers learn of the work responsibilities of some modern-day Mexican children, while in “A Hindu Brahman Boy is Born Again,” they witness a coming-of-age ritual in contemporary India. Read the press release. See a website for the . . .

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Press Release: Durocher, Nice Guys Finish Last

September 10, 2009
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Press Release: Durocher, Nice Guys Finish Last

Forty years ago this month, the Chicago Cubs were on top of the baseball world, holding an eight-and-a-half-game lead and ready to cruise to their first pennant in more than forty years. But over the course of a few weeks, it all fell apart, with loss after loss culminating in one of the worst collapses in baseball history. The man at the helm of that disaster was the outspoken, cantankerous Leo Durocher, who always seemed to be on the scene of baseball’s most memorable moments throughout a fifty year career as a player or manager. From riding the bench as a rookie with the ’27 Yankees, to breaking out as a hard-charging shortstop with the Gashouse Gang Cardinals in the 1930s, to managing the previously hapless Dodgers to their first World Series, to watching Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world” propel his Giants to the 1951 pennant, to, yes, that horrible Cubs collapse—Durocher saw it all, and in 1975 he told his side of these stories and more in Nice Guys Finish Last. Now the University of Chicago Press is bringing Durocher’s classic back into print for a new generation of baseball fans to enjoy. All the larger-than-life players, . . .

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Press Release: Rowland, Giordano Bruno

September 2, 2009
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Press Release: Rowland, Giordano Bruno

New in Paperback—Giordano Bruno (1548—1600) is one of the great figures of early modern Europe, and one of the least understood. Ingrid D. Rowland’s biography establishes him once and for all as a peer of Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Galileo—a thinker whose vision of the world prefigures ours. Writing with great verve and erudition, Rowland traces Bruno’s wanderings through a sixteenth-century Europe where every certainty of religion and philosophy has been called into question, and reveals how he valiantly defended his ideas to the very end, when he was burned at the stake as a heretic on Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Read the press release. . . .

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