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Recommending Books for Purchase (Bulletin 93 - July 2020): Public Finance
From Plato's contempt for "the madness of the multitude" to Kant's lament for "the great unthinking mass," the history of Western thought is riddled with disdain for ordinary collective life. But it was not until Kierkegaard developed the term chatter that this disdain began to focus on the ordinary communicative practices that sustain this form of human togetherness. The Chattering Mind explores the intellectual tradition inaugurated by Kierkegaard's work, tracing the conceptual history of everyday talk from his formative account of chatter to Heidegger's recuperative discussion of "idle talk" to Lacan's culminating treatment of "empty speech"--and ultimately into our digital present, where small talk on various social media platforms now yields big data for tech-savvy entrepreneurs. In this sense, The Chattering Mind is less a history of ideas than a book in search of a usable past. It is a study of how the modern world became anxious about everyday talk, figured in terms of the intellectual elites who piqued this anxiety, and written with an eye toward recent dilemmas of digital communication and culture. By explaining how a quintessentially unproblematic form of human communication became a communication problem in itself, McCormick shows how its conceptual history is essential to our understanding of media and communication today.
eBook Price: $10.00 to $35.00
Democratizing Our Data by Julia Lane
Publication Date: 2020-09-01
Publisher : MIT Press
Why, with data increasingly important, available, valuable and cheap, are the data produced by the American government getting worse and costing more? State and local governments rely on population data from the US Census Bureau; prospective college students and their parents can check data from the National Center for Education Statistics; small businesses can draw on data about employment and wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But often the information they get is out of date or irrelevant, based on surveys--a form of information gathering notorious for low response rates. In A Data Manifesto, Julia Lane argues that bad data is bad for democracy. Her book is a wake-up call to America to fix its broken public data system.
Print Price: $24.95
Entertaining History by Chris Mackowski
Publication Date: 2020-01-13
Publisher : Southern Illinois University Press
Popular media can spark the national consciousness in a way that captures people's attention, interests them in history, and inspires them to visit battlefields, museums, and historic sites. This lively collection of essays and feature stories celebrates the novels, popular histories, magazines, movies, television shows, photography, and songs that have enticed Americans to learn more about our most dramatic historical era. From Ulysses S. Grant's Memoirs to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, from Roots to Ken Burns's The Civil War, from "Dixie" to "Ashokan Farewell," and from Civil War photography to the Gettysburg Cyclorama, trendy and well-loved depictions of the Civil War are the subjects of twenty contributors who tell how they and the general public have been influenced by them. Sarah Kay Bierle examines the eternal appeal of Gone with the Wind and asks how it is that a protagonist who so opposed the war has become such a figurehead for it. H. R. Gordon talks with New York Times-bestselling novelist Jeff Shaara to discuss the power of storytelling. Paul Ashdown explores ColdMountain's value as a portrait of the war as national upheaval, and Kevin Pawlak traces a shift in cinema's depiction of slavery epitomized by 12 Years a Slave. Tony Horwitz revisits his iconic Confederates in the Attic twenty years later. The contributors' fresh analysis articulates a shared passion for history's representation in the popular media. The variety of voices and topics in this collection coalesces into a fascinating discussion of some of the most popular texts in the genres. In keeping with the innovative nature of this series, web-exclusive material extends the conversation beyond the book.
Print Price: $26.50
Friends by Jennifer Dunn
Publication Date: 2019-12-04
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
A cultural phenomenon for a decade, Friends ranked in the top ten for every year of its original run, an accomplishment unmatched by any other scripted series. And more than twenty-five years since its theme song promised "I'll be there for you," Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross are still entertaining audiences around the world. As the characters maneuvered their ways through dating, love, and the occasional conflict, their loyalty to each other remained steadfast. In Friends: A Cultural History, Jennifer C. Dunn explores why the show immediately took hold of viewers and how the series remained must-see TV for so long. Dunn examines the cultural landscape that allowed a show not centered on traditional sitcom norms of family and career to become such a critical and commercial success. The author also addresses how the show's complicated depictions of gender roles and class distinctions-as well as its lack of ethnic diversity-did not detract from its popularity. In addition to exploring memorable plotlines, cherished moments, and the quirks of the principal players, this book analyzes the show's enduring cultural relevance. Featuring a discussion of the show's 25 best episodes, Friends: A Cultural History offers an engaging look at the series that has resonated with generations of television viewers.
eBook Price: $33.00
Keep Calm and Log On by Gillian "gus" Andrews
Publication Date: 2020-04-28
Publisher : MIT Press
How to survive the digital revolution without getting trampled: your guide to online mindfulness, digital self-empowerment, cybersecurity, creepy ads, trustworthy information, and more. Feeling overwhelmed by an avalanche of online content? Anxious about identity theft? Unsettled by the proliferation of fake news? Welcome to the digital revolution. Wait--wasn't the digital revolution supposed to make our lives better? It was going to be fun and put the world at our fingertips. What happened? Keep Calm and Log On is a survival handbook that will help you achieve online mindfulness and overcome online helplessness--the feeling that tech is out of your control--with tips for handling cybersecurity, creepy ads, untrustworthy information, and much more. Taking a cue from the famous World War II morale-boosting slogan ("Keep Calm and Carry On"), Gus Andrews shows us how to adapt the techniques our ancestors used to survive hard times, so we can live our best lives online. She explains why media and technology stress us out, and offers empowering tools for coping. Mindfulness practices can help us stay calm and conserve our attention purposefully. Andrews shares the secret of understanding our own opinions'' "family trees" in order to identify misleading "fake news." She provides tools for unplugging occasionally, overcoming feelings that we are "bad at technology," and taking charge of our security and privacy. Andrews explains how social media algorithms keep us from information we need and why "creepy ads" seem to follow us online. Most importantly, she urges us to work to rebuild the trust in our communities that the internet has broken.
Print Price: $24.95
Literary Research and the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Eras by Dustin Booher; Kevin B. Gunn
Publication Date: 2020-02-20
Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Literary Research and the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Eras: Strategies and Sources is a guide to scholarly research in the field of medieval English literature covering the period 450 CE to 1500 CE. Graduate students and scholars researching this period face many challenges: working in two distinct literary traditions, comprehending multiple languages (Old English, Middle English, Latin, Anglo-Norman, and French), knowing the manuscript tradition for a particular title and the research methodologies for discovering and locating primary sources in the print and digital realms, and the awareness of the overlap and assimilation of literary themes with religious, historical, cultural, and political perspectives. The volume presents the best practices for building a foundation of sound scholarship practices in the field of medieval English literature. This volume explores primary and secondary resources, including general literary research guides; types of library catalogs; print and online bibliographies and indexes; scholarly journals and series; manuscripts, archives, and digital collections; genres; tools for understanding Old and Middle English such as dictionaries, lexicons, thesauri, glosses, etymologies, palaeographies, and text mining tools; and Web resources. The final chapter researches the shifting reputation of the poet, Thomas Hoccleve. Given the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies, an appendix of additional readings in art, history, music, philosophy, religion, science, social sciences, and theater is provided.
eBook Price: $52.00
The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg by Eleanor Randolph
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
The authoritative biography of Michael Bloomberg: business genius, inventor, innovator, publisher, philanthropist, activist, and presidential candidate. With unprecedented access, a veteran New York Times reporter and editorial writer who covered New York City and state politics offers a revealing portrait of one of the richest and famously private/public figures in the country. Michael Bloomberg's life sounds like an exaggerated version of The American Story, except his adventures are real. From modest Jewish middle class (and Eagle Scout) to Harvard MBA to Salomon Brothers hot shot (where he gets "sent upstairs" and later fired) to creator of the machine that would change Wall Street and the rest of the world and make him a billionaire (a description by the author makes the invention clear to non-engineers). Randolph's account of Bloomberg's life and time reads almost like a novel, a quintessentially American story. She explains the "machine" he invented that gave and continues to give instant access to an infinite amount of information to bankers and investors on how, what, and where to invest, and how it changed the financial universe. Randolph recounts one day not long ago when the Bloomberg machine briefly blipped and the whole world's financial marketplace came to a halt. Randolph recounts Mayor Bloomberg's vigorous approach to New York city's care--including his attempts at education reform, contract control, anti-smoking and anti-obesity campaigns, green climate control, and his political adventures with both aides and opponents. After a surprising third term as Mayor, Bloomberg returned to his business and doubles its already tremendous worth. The chapter that describes this is one of the most revealing of his temperament and energy and vision as well as how he spends his "private" time--private but convivial. Bloomberg's philanthropies are education, anti-NRA, and supporting a cleaner environment. He is a moderate liberal in a time when that quality holds the future of the Democratic Party and the country to account.
eBook Price: $14.99
Race Across America by Charles B. Kastner
Publication Date: 2020-01-03
Publisher : Syracuse University Press
On April 23, 1929, the second annual Transcontinental Foot Race across America, known as the Bunion Derby, was in its twenty-fifth day. Eddie ?the Sheik? Gardner, an African American runner from Seattle, was leading the race across the Free Bridge over the Mississippi River. Along with the signature outfit that earned him his nickname--a white towel tied around his head, white shorts, and a white shirt--Gardner wore an American flag, a reminder to all who saw him run through the Jim Crow South that he was an American and the leader of the greatest footrace in the world. Kastner traces Gardner's remarkable journey from his birth in 1897 in Birmingham, Alabama, to his success in Seattle, Washington, as one of the top long-distance runners in the region, and finally to his participation in two transcontinental footraces where he risked his life, facing a barrage of harassment for having the audacity to compete with white runners. Kastner shows how Gardner's participation became a way to protest the endemic racism he faced, heralding the future of nonviolent efforts that would be instrumental to the civil rights movement. Shining a bright light on his extraordinary athletic accomplishments and his heroism on the dusty roads of America in the 1920s, Kastner gives Gardner and other black bunioneers the attention they so richly deserve.
Format : eBook Available
The Rise of Coptic by Jean-Luc Fournet
Publication Date: 2020-01-21
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Coptic emerged as the written form of the Egyptian language in the third century, when Greek was still the official language in Egypt. By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641, Coptic had almost achieved official status, but only after an unusually prolonged period of stagnation. Jean-Luc Fournet traces this complex history, showing how the rise of Coptic took place amid profound cultural, religious, and political changes in late antiquity. For some three hundred years after its introduction into the written culture of Egypt, Coptic was limited to biblical translation and private and monastic correspondence, while Greek retained its monopoly on administrative, legal, and literary writing. This changed during the sixth century, when Coptic began to penetrate domains that were once closed to it, such as literature, liturgy, regulated transactions between individuals, and communications between the state and its subjects. Fournet examines the reasons for Coptic's late development as a competing language--which was unlike what happened with other vernacular languages in Near Eastern Greek-speaking societies--and explains why Coptic eventually succeeded in being recognized with Greek as an official language. Incisively written and rich with insights, The Rise of Coptic draws on a wealth of archival evidence to shed new light on the role of monasticism in the growing use of Coptic before the Arab conquest.
Print Price: $45.00
Super Bomb by Ken Young; Warner R. Schilling
Publication Date: 2020-02-15
Publisher : Cornell University Press
Super Bomb unveils the story of the events leading up to President Harry S. Truman's 1950 decision to develop a "super," or hydrogen, bomb. That fateful decision and its immediate consequences are detailed in a diverse and complete account built on newly released archives and previously hidden contemporaneous interviews with more than sixty political, military, and scientific figures who were involved in the decision. Ken Young and Warner R. Schilling present the expectations, hopes, and fears of the key individuals who lobbied for and against developing the H-bomb. They portray the conflicts that arose over the H-bomb as rooted in the distinct interests of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Los Alamos laboratory, the Pentagon and State Department, the Congress, and the White House. But as they clearly show, once Truman made his decision in 1950, resistance to the H-bomb opportunistically shifted to new debates about the development of tactical nuclear weapons, continental air defense, and other aspects of nuclear weapons policy. What Super Bomb reveals is that in many ways the H-bomb struggle was a proxy battle over the morality and effectiveness of strategic bombardment and the role and doctrine of the US Strategic Air Command.