Books for the News

Friday Remainders

jacket imageDario Maestripieri’s Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World was recently featured on the Freakonomics blog hosted at the New York Times website. An offshoot of U of C professor Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner’s best-selling book of the same name, the Freakonomics blog takes a look at society through the eyes of an economist, revealing the hidden incentives behind our everyday behavior. On the blog, contributor Ryan Hagan takes note of Maestripieri’s new book not only for its insights on the proliferation of rhesus macaques—currently one of the most successful primates on the planet—but what an understanding of their behavior can tell us about our own. To find out more, see the short but succinct synopsis of the book recently posted to the United Press International website.
Marshal Zeringue strikes again! Richard Halpern’s book, Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence was featured this week on Zeringue’s literary blog, the Page 99 Test. On the blog Zeringue asks authors to flip to page 99 of their books, summarize it, and then give a brief explanation of how it relates to the rest of the work. In his piece, Halpern delivers a nice précis of his work writing: “America’s favorite illustrator has been badly misunderstood by both his fans and his detractors. Rockwell is not culturally or artistically naïve. Above all, he does not portray a bland style of American innocence. Rather, he is a canny diagnostician of innocence, which he exposes as a fiction based on various forms of denial and disavowal.” Click over to the Page 99 Test to read more.
Lt. Col. John Nagl has an interview posted on the Mother Jones site in which he discusses his recommendations for dealing with the war in Iraq. As co-author of The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, the U. S. military’s new strategic guide on how to plan and carry out successful counterinsurgency operations, Nagl argues for an exit strategy based on the use of “transition teams” to train “local forces to defeat a locally developed insurgency.”
The Los Angeles Times notes that the Press has “a somewhat unusual hit this season” with Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II. The piece quotes our ever-quotable publicity manager, Levi Stahl.
Finally, we have previously noted the continuing controversy surrounding Nadia Abu El-Haj’s book, which we published in 2001, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society. El-Haj is currently up for tenure at Barnard, but has some determined opponents who claim that her findings have been influenced by political interests. Jewish Week published a fair-minded article on the the book and the dispute a few days ago. Larry Cohler-Esses gave the book a close reading and talked to both sides.