New Scholarly Books

Weekly Book List, November 30, 2012

November 26, 2012


Ethnographies of Islam: Ritual Performances and Everyday Practices edited by Baudouin Dupret and others (Edinburgh University Press, distributed by Columbia University Press; 202 pages; $95). Writings by anthropologists, sociologists, and other scholars that demonstrate the value of ethnography for the understanding of Islam; includes case studies from Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Britain, Pakistan, Brazil, and Lebanon.

How Difficult It Is to Be God: Shining Path's Politics of War in Peru, 1980-1999 by Carlos Ivan Degregori, edited by Steve J. Stern (University of Wisconsin Press; 232 pages; $29.95). Translation of a Peruvian anthropologist's study of the Maoist insurgent group.

Islands of Love, Islands of Risk: Culture and HIV in the Trobriands by Katherine Lepani (Vanderbilt University Press; 264 pages; $79.95 hardcover, $34.95 paperback). Combines scholarly and personal perspectives in a study of tensions public health messages on HIV/AIDS and the ritualized traditions of sexual freedom among the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea.

Knowing History in Mexico: An Ethnography of Citizenship by Trevor Stack (University of New Mexico Press; 168 pages; $45). Draws on fieldwork near Guadalajara in a study of links drawn in Mexico between knowing history and being a person of authority and a good citizen.

Made in Madagascar: Sapphires, Ecotourism, and the Global Bazaar by Andrew Walsh (University of Toronto Press; 128 pages; $24.95). A study of the Ankarana region of northern Madagascar.

The Modernity Bluff: Crime, Consumption, and Citizenship in Cote d'Ivoire by Sasha Newell (University of Chicago Press; 305 pages; $85 hardcover, $27.50 paperback). Draws on fieldwork in Abidjan in a study of young men known as bluffeurs who create a pretense of success through their fashion and other conspicuous consumption.


Becoming White Clay: A History and Archaeology of Jicarilla Apache Enclavement by B. Sunday Eiselt (University of Utah Press; 320 pages; $45). Combines archaeological and ethnohistorical data in a study of Jicarilla strategies of survival in New Mexico following their expulsion from the Plains.


Diego Velazquez's Early Paintings and the Culture of Seventeenth-Century Seville by Tanya J. Tiffany (Penn State University Press; 256 pages; $79.95). Topics include how the painter engaged the concerns and debates of the Andalusian city where he spent his formative years.

Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts edited by Hannah B. Higgins and Douglas Kahn (University of California Press; 362 pages; $75 hardcover, $34.95 paperback). Essays on artists' engagement with mainframe and minicomputers from the late 1950s to early 1970s.

No Innocent Bystanders: Performance Art and Audience by Frazer Ward (Dartmouth College Press/University Press of New England; 208 pages; $85 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). Explores the troubling relationship of the spectator vis a vis performance art; artists discussed include Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, and Marina Abramovic.

Plotting the Prince: Shotoku Cults and the Mapping of Medieval Japanese Buddhism by Kevin Gray Carr (University of Hawai'i Press; 264 pages; $40). Explores art from the 10th to the 14th century in a study of conceptual maps of the world created through the telling of stories about a prince (circa 573--622) credited with founding Buddhism in Japan.


Theater Outside Athens: Drama in Greek Sicily and South Italy edited by Kathryn Bosher (Cambridge University Press; 496 pages; $110). Multidisciplinary essays on the ways in which western Greek theater differed from that on the Greek mainland; topics include Doric mime and Attic comedy in Herodas' Mimiambi.

The Theory and Practice of Life: Isocrates and the Philosophers by Tarik Wareh (Center for Hellenic Studies, distributed by Harvard University Press; 244 pages; $24.95). A study of Plato, Aristotle, and their contemporaries that documents the role played by their rival Isocrates and his approach to rhetorical education.


Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms, and the Brain edited by Peter M. Todd, Thomas T. Hills, and Trevor W. Robbins (MIT Press; 403 pages; $45). Research on how we search for resources in our minds and in the world, from memory to food foraging to the Internet.


Media Capital: Architecture and Communications in New York City by Aurora Wallace (University of Illinois Press; 192 pages; $80 hardcover, $25 paperback). Explores the architecture of corporate headquarters in a study of the city's rise as a media center since the mid-19th century.


Economic Development in China, India, and East Asia: Managing Change in the Twenty First Century by Kartik Roy, Hans Blomqvist, and Cal Clark (Edward Elgar Publishing; 320 pages; $135). Topics include whether political openness should precede economic openness.

From Miracle to Maturity: The Growth of the Korean Economy by Barry Eichengreen, Dwight H. Perkins, and Kwanho Shin (Harvard University Press; 250 pages; $39.95). Combines quantitative and qualitative analysis in a study of economic growth in South Korea.

Pricing the Planet's Future: The Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World by Christian Gollier (Princeton University Press; 232 pages; $35). Discusses the economic theory of the discount rate and its applications to issues of sustainable development.

Reconnecting to Work: Policies to Mitigate Long-Term Unemployment and Its Consequences edited by Lauren D. Appelbaum (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; 179 pages; $40 hardcover, $20 paperback). Writings by scholars in Europe and North America on the economic and psychological consequences of long-term detachment from the workforce, and the policies that might address lengthy unemployment.


Beyond Obedience and Abandonment: Toward a Theory of Dissent in Catholic Education by Graham P. McDonough (McGill-Queen's University Press; 320 pages; US$95 hardcover, US$34.95 paperback). Defends what is termed a "productive dissent" for Catholic schools.


Death of the Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood by Wheeler Winston Dixon (Rutgers University Press; 264 pages; $72 hardcover, $27.95 paperback). Examines the final years of the studio system and such legendary bosses as Louis B. Mayer and Jack L. Warner.


The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race by Rebecca Anne Goetz (Johns Hopkins University Press; 240 pages; $55). Explores white notions of "hereditary heathenism" in regard to Africans and Indians in 17th-century Virginia.

Buying the Farm: Peace and War on a Sixties Commune by Tom Fels (University of Massachusetts Press; 240 pages; $80 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). Combines scholarly and personal perspectives in a study of Montague Farm, a back-to-the-land experiment founded in 1968 and enduring for 35 years.

The Fishing Creek Confederacy: A Story of Civil War Draft Resistance by Richard A. Sauers and Peter Tomasak (University of Missouri Press; 256 pages; $35). Documents serious opposition to the draft in Columbia County, Pa., which led to military intervention in the region after a Union lieutenant was shot confronting draft evaders.

A Goy Who Speaks Yiddish: Christians and the Jewish Language in Early Modern Germany by Aya Elyada (Stanford University Press; 280 pages; $60). Discusses Christian Hebraism and other motivations for Christian engagement with Yiddish from the 16th to the late 18th centuries.

Invisible Agents: Spirits in a Central African History by David M. Gordon (Ohio University Press; 384 pages; $32.95). Explores the intertwining of religion and political action in Zambia in the 19th and 20th centuries.

One World, Big Screen: Hollywood, the Allies, and World War II by M. Todd Bennett (University of North Carolina Press; 384 pages; $39.95). Documents Hollywood's role in building solidarity in the Grand Alliance: Britain, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

Oysters, Macaroni, and Beer: Thurber, Texas, and the Company Store by Gene Rhea Tucker (Texas Tech University Press; 216 pages; $34.95). Explores labor, management, and commerce in a town once wholly owned by the Texas and Pacific Coal Company.

Rituals of Prosecution: The Roman Inquisition and the Prosecution of Philo-Protestants in Sixteenth-Century Italy by Jane K. Wickersham (University of Toronto Press; 440 pages; US$80). Analyzes four inquisitorial manuals from the Counter Reformation period.

To Live an Antislavery Life: Personal Politics and the Antebellum Black Middle Class by Erica L. Ball (University of Georgia Press; 175 pages; $69.95 hardcover, $22.95 paperback). Examines the ideals put forth by Susan Paul, Frederick Douglass, and other black writers on how free blacks should live.


Communities of Learned Experience: Epistolary Medicine in the Renaissance by Nancy G. Siraisi (Johns Hopkins University Press; 176 pages; $45). A study of the Latin letters of mid- and late-16th-century German and Italian physicians.


Atomic Testing in Mississippi: Project Dribble and the Quest for Nuclear Weapons Treaty Verification in the Cold War Era by David Allen Burke (Louisiana State University Press; 216 pages; $39.95). Discusses testing done in the mid-1960s 3,000 feet below the state's Tatum Salt Dome, a site in a densely populated area.

The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin (Princeton University Press; 228 pages; $24.95). A dual biography of the mathematician and philosopher (1815-64) who gave the name to Boolean logic, and the electrical engineer and information theorist (1916-2001), who advanced that work.


Dignity Rights: Courts, Constitutions, and the Worth of the Human Person by Erin Daly (University of Pennsylvania Press; 272 pages; $69.95). Explores legal notions of dignity, a right that has been enshrined in most of the world's constitutions.


Cave Culture in Maghrebi Literature: Imagining Self and Nation by Christa Jones (Lexington Books; 203 pages; $65). Explores the cave as a political, religious, and cultural metaphor in Francophone North African literature, including works by such authors as Yamina Mechakra, Georges Buis, and Tahar Ben Jelloun.

Clandestine Marriage: Botany and Romantic Culture by Theresa M. Kelley (Johns Hopkins University Press; 400 pages; $55). Explores the representation of plants in literary, scientific, and other texts; authors discussed include Anna Letitia Barbauld and Mary Wollstonecraft.

The Decadent Republic of Letters: Taste, Politics, and Cosmopolitan Community From Baudelaire to Beardsley by Matthew Potolsky (University of Pennsylvania Press; 256 pages; $59.95). Documents the political engagement of decadent writers, including notions of beauty as civic virtue.

Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics by Alexandra Socarides (Oxford University Press; 211 pages; $49.95). A study of the poet's compositional practices and material culture as a writer, including her conventional and unconventional uses of paper.

Faces of Displacement: The Writings of Volodymyr Vynnychenko by Mykola Soroka (McGill-Queen's University Press; 272 pages; US$45). Examines how emigration and exile shaped the worldview of the Ukrainian writer (1880-1951).

La Folie Baudelaire by Roberto Calasso, translated by Alastair McEwen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 337 pages; $35). Explores Baudelaire and his Paris, including two painters, Ingres and Delacroix, about whom the poet wrote.

Law and History in Cervantes' "Don Quixote" by Susan Byrne (University of Toronto Press; 256 pages; US$55). Argues that the novel highlights the inconsistencies of both realms.

New York-Paris: Whitman, Baudelaire, and the Hybrid City by Laure Katsaros (University of Michigan Press; 152 pages; $50). Compares the poets' representations of the mid-19th-century city.

Poe's Pervasive Influence edited by Barbara Cantalupo (Lehigh University Press; 161 pages; $65). Essays on the writer's influence on other authors, including Edogawa Rampo, Gogol, Fernando Pessoa, and Lu Xun.

The Post-Romantic Predicament by Paul de Man, edited by Martin McQuillan (Edinburgh University Press, distributed by Columbia University Press; 235 pages; $105). Edition of writings on Mallarme, Yeats, Holderlin, Keats, and Stefan George from a period, 1952-1959, in which the Belgian-born theorist was a junior fellow at Harvard University.

The Rhetoric of Redemption: Chesterton, Ethical Criticism, and the Common Man by Alan R. Blackstock (Peter Lang Publishing; 135 pages; $70.95). Uses Chesterton's literary criticism from 1902 to 1913 to explore the English author's claim to be writing for the "common man."

Romantic Things: A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud by Mary Jacobus (University of Chicago Press; 221 pages; $45). New and previously published writings on such topics as the natural objects and phenomena common to Wordsworth and Rilke.

Samuel Beckett and Arnold Geulincx: Tracing "A Literary Fantasia" by David Tucker (Continuum; 217 pages; $110). A study of Beckett's engagement with the 17th-century Flemish philosopher.

Shakespeare's Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age by Daniel Swift (Oxford University Press; 289 pages; $29.95). Discusses the 1549 Protestant text as a touchstone for the playwright in As You Like It, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Othello, and especially Macbeth.

Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the 1970s by Andrew M. Butler (Liverpool University Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 302 pages; $99.95). Topics include how sci-fi writing, film, and television reflected the class, racial, and other tensions of the decade.

Women's Poetry of Late Imperial China: Transforming the Inner Chambers by Xiarong Li (University of Washington Press; 236 pages; $70 hardcover, $30 paperback). A study of how female poets transformed what had been the male fantasy of the inner chambers of traditional Chinese households.


The Cult of Pythagoras: Math and Myths by Alberto A. Martinez (University of Pittsburgh Press; 264 pages; $27.95). Traces persistent myths in the history of mathematics since ancient times, including the notion that the philosopher Pythagoras proved the hypotenuse theorum.


The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century edited by Rachel Cowgill and Hilary Poriss (Oxford University Press; 368 pages; $99 hardcover, $25 paperback). Essays on female opera singers, including the emergence of the diva.

Gothic Music: The Sounds of the Uncanny by Isabella van Elferen (University of Wales Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 229 pages; $120 hardcover, $35 paperback). Explores music and sound in relationship to the gothic in literature, film, television, and video games, as well as the Goth subculture.

The Mistakes of Yesterday, the Hopes of Tomorrow: The Story of the Prisonaires by John Dougan (University of Massachusetts Press; 144 pages; $80 hardcover, $22.95 paperback). A study of a quintet formed by five inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary at Nashville, who had a single hit single with "Just Walkin' in the Rain."

The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism: Revolution, Reaction, and William Walton by J.P.E. Harper-Scott (Cambridge University Press; 300 pages; $99). Draws on Heidegger and Badiou to develop a dialectical theory of musical modernism; focuses on the music of the British composer William Walton (1902-83).


The Great Fossil Enigma: The Search for the Conodont Animal by Simon J. Knell (Indiana University Press; 440 pages; $45). Traces a 150-year dispute over the nature of the animal behind the tiny fossils known as conodonts.


Bremen and Freiburg Lectures: "Insight Into That Which Is" and "Basic Principles of Thinking" by Martin Heidegger, translated by Andrew J. Mitchell (Indiana University Press; 198 pages; $35). Translation of lectures from the 1940s and 50s on Holderlin's poetry and the German idealists and Greek philosophers.


The Physics of Neutrinos by Vernon Barger, Danny Marfatia, and Kerry Whisnant (Princeton University Press; 224 pages; $99.50). Topics include how three types of neutrinos interchange identities as they propagate from their sources to detectors.


Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery by Daniel P. Aldrich (University of Chicago Press; 232 pages; $80 hardcover, $27.50 paperback). Analyzes post-disaster responses after the 1923 earthquake in Tokyo, the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, the 2004 Tsunami in Tamil Nadu, and 2005's Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Changing Worlds: Vietnam's Transition From Cold War to Globalization by David W.P. Elliott (Oxford University Press; 408 pages; $49.95). Traces the emergence of new thinking among a vanguard of the Communist elite, and describes how their views became mainstream.

Deterring Terrorism: Theory and Practice edited by Andreas Wenger and Alex Wilner (Stanford University Press; 338 pages; $105 hardcover, $29.95 paperback). Includes empirical case studies of applying traditional deterrence theory to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Intelligent Compassion: Feminist Critical Methodology in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom by Catia Cecilia Confortini (Oxford University Press; 203 pages; $65). Traces the changing strategies of the pacifist group, which was founded in 1915; focuses on its work on decolonization, the Middle East, and disarmament between 1945 and 1975.

Mugabe and the Politics of Security in Zimbabwe by Abiodun Alao (McGill-Queen's University Press; 280 pages; US$95 hardcover, US$29.95 paperback). Analyzes President Robert Mugabe's manipulation of security policy for his own gain.

Phantom Menace or Looming Danger: A New Framework for Assessing Bioweapons Threats by Kathleen M. Vogel (Johns Hopkins University Press; 384 pages; $60 hardcover, $30 paperback). Argues for greater focus on the social and political contexts of threats; includes case studies of Soviet anthrax weapons development, Iraqi mobile bioweapons labs, and two synthetic genome experiments.

Rethinking Anti-Americanism: The History of an Exceptional Concept in American Foreign Relations by Max Paul Friedman (Cambridge University Press; 358 pages; $95 hardcover, $35.99 paperback). Traces the history of the concept of anti-Americanism and considers how the idea has affected U.S. politics, including constricting debate on foreign policy.

Soldiers, Spies, and Statesmen: Egypt's Road to Revolt by Hazem Kandil (Verso; 303 pages; $26.95). A revisionist study of the origins of the revolution that views it as the latest element in a power struggle among three components of authoritarianism.

Strength in Numbers: The Political Power of Weak Interests by Gunnar Trumbull (Harvard University Press; 264 pages; $49.95). Documents how "weak interests" often carry the day in policy battles through processes of legitimation, particularly those that tie their aims to a broader public interest; examples include efforts to influence agriculture in Europe and pharmaceuticals in the United States.

Wales Says Yes: Devolution and the 2011 Welsh Referendum by Richard Wyn Jones and Roger Scully (University of Wales Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 234 pages; $30). A study of the March 2011 referendum, in which some 63 percent of those voting (out of a meager 35 percent of the electorate) opted to extend the law-making powers of Wales' National Assembly.

Zion's Dilemmas: How Israel Makes National Security Policy by Charles D. Freilich (Cornell University Press; 336 pages; $49.95). Combines scholarly and practitioner perspectives in a critical analysis of Israeli strategy.


Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures by Elisabeth El Refaie (University Press of Mississippi; 192 pages; $55). Draws on a study of 85 works from North America and Europe.


The Invention of Religion in Japan by Jason Ananda Josephson (University of Chicago Press; 387 pages; $90 hardcover, $30 paperback). Argues that the category of religion did not exist in Japan before its confrontation with the West in the 1850s; traces the defining and boundary drawing that occurred after.

Islam and Literalism: Literal Meaning and Interpretation in Islamic Legal Theory by Robert Gleave (Edinburgh University Press, distributed by Columbia University Press; 212 pages; $115). Topics include competing notions of literal meaning in medieval Islamic thought.


Thomas de Quincey: British Rhetoric's Romantic Turn by Lois Peters Agnew (Southern Illinois University Press; 192 pages; $35). Argues that Quincey as rhetorician has been overlooked; topics include his use of irony and humor in such works as Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821).


Buoyancy on the Bayou: Shrimpers Face the Rising Tide of Globalization by Jill Ann Harrison (Cornell University Press; 208 pages; $69.95 hardcover, $19.95 paperback). Examines the struggles of Louisiana shrimpers in an industry where imports from Asia have come to dominate.

Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline by Alice Mah (University of Toronto Press; 240 pages; $55 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). A comparative study of urban and industrial decline in Niagara Falls (Canada and the United States), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Britain, and Ivanovo, Russia.

Life After Death Row: Exonerees' Search for Community and Identity by Saundra D. Westervelt and Kimberly J. Cook (Rutgers University Press; 296 pages; $72 hardcover, $25.95 paperback). Examines the post-prison lives of 18 people who were sentenced to death in the United States and later exonerated and released.

Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice by Kristin Surak (Stanford University Press; 272 pages; $85 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). Explores the Japanese tea ceremony's changes through history and the "nation-work" that make this cultural practice emblematic of Japan; draws on 10 years of training.


Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender by Janell Hobson (State University of New York Press; 208 pages; $75 hardcover, $24.95 paperback). Offers a global black feminist perspective on such topics as digital and popular culture.