Love poetry includes, yes, descriptions of the beloved. And images of a fantastic idyll complete with falling stars, the sound of the sea, and beautiful countryside. In the hands of Surrealists, though, love poetry also includes gravediggers and murderers, dice and garbage, snakeskin purses and "the drunken kisses of cyclones." Surrealism, the movement founded in the 1920s on the ashes of Dada’s nihilism, embraced absurdity, contradiction, and, to a supreme extent, passion and desire.… Read the press release. Read three poems from the book. . . .
Charles Harrison is one of the world’s most renowned teachers and theorists of modern art. In this, his latest work, he brings his finely tuned eye, encyclopedic knowledge, and keen philosophical intelligence to a fundamental question in the history of art: is there a relationship between the representation of women and the modernist project? Harrison’s answer is an emphatic yes…. Read the press release. . . .
Before Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, and Michelangelo Antonini—as well as contemporary auteurs such as Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson—there was Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936). The Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian writer recognized and explored, long before art cinema of the 1960s, the permeable boundary between reality and illusion. As the Wall Street Journal put it on the centennial of his birth, Pirandello "was one of the first moderns to insist that the theater itself is an art form, something to be reshaped according to the requirements of the twentieth-century imagination." And reshape it he did…. Read the press release. . . .
The British Museum exhibition "Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia" opened recently to the delight of critics and museumgoers alike. Taking full advantage of unprecedented loans from the National Museum of Iran, the Persepolis Museum, and the Louvre, the exhibition provides, in the words of the Guardian, a "first-rate" encounter with another culture. The Daily Telegraph called it "a triumph on many levels." The Persian Empire, Lindsay Allen’s beautifully illustrated companion volume to the exhibition, is also, in its own right, a triumph…. Read the press release. . . .
It’s no secret that politicians at every level aim to appeal to voters’ emotions with campaign television ads. Indeed, as gubernatorial and local races intensify in communities across the country, and as congressional representatives begin to prepare for next year’s midterm elections, campaign officials are surely crafting new emotionally evocative ads, following in the tradition of presidential, congressional, and local campaigns before them. Yet little is known about how these ads work, or even whether they work at all. This is where Ted Brader comes in…. Read the press release. . . .
Lee Clarke explores the consequences of terror and catastrophe for our future as a civilization. A leading expert on disasters and a consultant to the federal government on disaster response strategies, Clarke argues that the time has come to devote more energy to preventing not just the improbable, but the unimaginable. Things that have never happened before happen everyday, and it is the worst cases that we fail to anticipate that pose the greatest threat to our way of life…. Read the press release. We have an interview with Clarke and his lists of past and future worst case scenarios. . . .
Philip Smith presents the simple theory that we make sense of certain situations, threats, and risks such as war by telling stories: stories about what form of involvement is necessary in conflict, what the outcome might be, who the heroes and villains are. Taking the cases of three broadly comparable conflicts—Suez, the Gulf War, and the Iraq War—Smith exposes the stories told by respective politicians in Washington, London, Paris, and Madrid. Storytelling, he shows, makes it easier to assemble confusing information into comprehensible scenarios…. Read the press release. Read an excerpt on Britain and the war in Iraq. . . .
Catharsis is an elegant and moving book that reminds us of the humanity and gentle dignity of being a doctor. Written by Andrzej Szczeklik, a world renowned cardiologist who counts among his patients the poets Wislawa Szymborska and the late Czeslaw Milosz, this life-affirming work gives spiritual resonance to mundane medical moments and disenchanted science by embedding them in a rich blend of myth and art. Deftly weaving the history of medicine, classical literature, and anecdotes from his own clinical experiences, Szczeklik draws deeply on our humanistic heritage to describe the art of medicine…. Read the press release. Read an excerpt. . . .
Picture, if you can, a time when New York wasn’t the center of the financial universe. A time when the business and investment capital of our great nation was Philadelphia, home of the Bank of the United States, the U.S. Mint, the country’s first stock exchange, and several major banks all clustered on or around Chestnut Street—the thoroughfare which historian Robert Wright dubs The First Wall Street. Here in this fascinating work, Wright recounts the forgotten story of Chestnut Street and its pivotal role in the birth of American finance.… Read the press release. Read an excerpt. . . .
Hanukkah may be over but Purim is right around the corner, so the time is still ripe for the intellectual and gastronomic delights of The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate, a collection of the best of nearly sixty years of brilliant University of Chicago oratory deployed on behalf of latkes and hamantashen. Our online feature for the book includes the text and audio of Ted Cohen’s “Consolations of the Latke” as well as recipes. . . .