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"A smart and powerful debut."--Library Journal A debut collection, exhibiting exceptional narrative and lyrical gifts, that explores the realms of memory, human emotion, and the natural world.These layered, braided narratives combine images of landscape and nature, childhood memories and family history, evoked paintings and performances. Nathaniel Bellows's verse is intimate yet inviting, dark but hopeful: "I could not saw the fallen tree--not all / of it had fallen--because somehow each spring, / the rotted half still mysteriously bloomed."
Athletics and politics collide in a critical event for Nazi Germany and the contemporary world. The torch relay--that staple of Olympic pageantry--first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain. The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib.
A young mother dies in agony. Was it a natural death, murder--or witchcraft? On the night of the festive holiday of Shrove Tuesday in 1672 Anna Fessler died after eating one of her neighbor's buttery cakes. Could it have been poisoned? Drawing on vivid court documents, eyewitness accounts, and an early autopsy report, historian Thomas Robisheaux brings the story to life. Exploring one of Europe's last witch panics, he unravels why neighbors and the court magistrates became convinced that Fessler's neighbor Anna Schmieg was a witch--one of several in the area--ensnared by the devil. Once arrested, Schmieg, the wife of the local miller, and her daughter were caught up in a high-stakes drama that led to charges of sorcery and witchcraft against the entire family. Robisheaux shows how ordinary events became diabolical ones, leading magistrates to torture and turn a daughter against her mother. In so doing he portrays an entire world caught between superstition and modernity.
"Like everything else written by Jonathan Spence, The Chan's Great Continent is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in China. Spence is one of the greatest Sinologists of our time, and his work is both authoritative and highly readable." --Los Angeles Times Book Review China has transfixed the West since the earliest contacts between these civilizations. With his characteristic elegance and insight, Jonathan Spence explores how the West has understood China over seven centuries. Ranging from Marco Polo's own depiction of China and the mighty Khan, Kublai, in the 1270s to the China sightings of three twentieth-century writers of acknowledged genius-Kafka, Borges, and Calvino-Spence conveys Western thought on China through a remarkable array of expression. Peopling Spence's account are Iberian adventurers, Enlightenment thinkers, spinners of the dreamy cult of Chinoiserie, and American observers such as Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Ezra Pound, and Eugene O'Neill. Taken together, these China sightings tell us as much about the self-image of the West as about China. "Wonderful. . . . Spence brilliantly demonstrates [how] generation after generation of Westerners [have] asked themselves, 'What is it . . . that held this astonishing, diverse, and immensely populous land together?' "--New York Times Book Review
CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world's most valuable educational tradition. The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, "I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline. "I get it," writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted. Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education--how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders' vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning--precisely the gifts of a liberal education. Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.
Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award in General Cooking: All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguished food journalism-a volume to take its place in America's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art of French Cooking and How to Cook Everything. Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years--Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta--as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics--from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread. Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special. The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish--a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion.
The New York Times Bestseller--"Superb...Lash has reached the highest level of the biographer's art." --Wall Street Journal Joseph P. Lash, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and National Book Award-winning writer of Eleanor and Franklin, turns to the seventeen years Eleanor Roosevelt lived after FDR's death in 1945. Already a major figure in her own right, Roosevelt gained new stature with her work at the United Nations and her contributions to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She continued her activism on behalf of civil rights, as well as her humanitarian work, which led President Harry Truman to call her the First Lady of the World. Lash has created an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary person.
The #1 New York Times Bestseller--Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award In his extraordinary biography of the major political couple of the twentieth century, Joseph P. Lash reconstructs from Eleanor Roosevelt's personal papers her early life and four-decade marriage to the four-time president who brought America back from the Great Depression and helped to win World War II. The result is an intimate look at the vibrant private and public worlds of two incomparable people.
"For over two decades, no one has equaled Stern's compassionate, surreal parables about the burden of and the exaltation at being alive."--Library Journal The centerpiece of Gerald Stern's ninth collection is a long poem titled "Hot Dog," named for a beautiful street woman who lives in and around Tompkins Square Park. Other characters in this poem are St. Augustine, Walt Whitman, Noah, Gerald Stern himself, and a ninety-year-old black preacher from the Midwest. In "Hot Dog," and throughout, Stern wrestles with the issues--hope, memory, faith--that have always occupied him.
Ever since Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity burst upon the world in 1915 some of the most brilliant minds of our century have sought to decipher the mysteries bequeathed by that theory, a legacy so unthinkable in some respects that even Einstein himself rejected them. Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time. Kip Thorne, along with fellow theorists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, a cadre of Russians, and earlier scientists such as Oppenheimer, Wheeler and Chandrasekhar, has been in the thick of the quest to secure answers. In this masterfully written and brilliantly informed work of scientific history and explanation, Dr. Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, leads his readers through an elegant, always human, tapestry of interlocking themes, coming finally to a uniquely informed answer to the great question: what principles control our universe and why do physicists think they know the things they think they know? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history. Anyone who struggled with that book will find here a more slowly paced but equally mind-stretching experience, with the added fascination of a rich historical and human component.
"Too important to be ignored....A fascinating look at America's obsession with race, pride, and privilege."--Essence When Alice Jones, a former nanny, married Leonard Rhinelander in 1924, she became the first black woman to be listed in the Social Register as a member of one of New York's wealthiest families. Once news of the marriage became public, a scandal of race, class, and sex gripped the nation--and forced the couple into an annulment trial. "A compelling read."--Boston Globe "This is a great story....Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone tell it very well."--Chicago Tribune
Winner of the Bancroft Prize: Through a gripping narrative based on massive new research, a leading historian reshapes our understanding of the Civil War. Our standard Civil War histories tell a reassuring story of the triumph, in an inevitable conflict, of the dynamic, free-labor North over the traditional, slave-based South, vindicating the freedom principles built into the nation's foundations. But at the time, on the borderlands of Pennsylvania and Virginia, no one expected war, and no one knew how it would turn out. The one certainty was that any war between the states would be fought in their fields and streets. Edward L. Ayers gives us a different Civil War, built on an intimate scale. He charts the descent into war in the Great Valley spanning Pennsylvania and Virginia. Connected by strong ties of every kind, including the tendrils of slavery, the people of this borderland sought alternatives to secession and war. When none remained, they took up war with startling intensity. As this book relays with a vivid immediacy, it came to their doorsteps in hunger, disease, and measureless death. Ayers's Civil War emerges from the lives of everyday people as well as those who helped shape history--John Brown and Frederick Douglass, Lincoln, Jackson, and Lee. His story ends with the valley ravaged, Lincoln's support fragmenting, and Confederate forces massing for a battle at Gettysburg.
One of Australia's best poets conjures the Australian countryside in this brilliant epic, inspired by Philip Sidney's classic pastoral "Arcadia." "Astonishingly fecund and inventive. The New Arcadia revitalizes pastoral traditions, but more in the mode of lamentation than celebration. Like Frost's New Hampshire and Vermont, Kinsella's Western Australia is eroded, a last act salted with the ruins of our age, and yet yielding permanent poems."--Harold Bloom
Daring and witty, erotic and searching, these poems explore the ways we suffer and are changed by our losses. "Think about sex," this book begins, then moves through the places into which our longings lead us. Here are confessions whispered over the phone in "Phone Sex," sins recounted to priests, "pretend confessions" told to a sister. Here are poems about a mother teaching a daughter to read, a girl trying to read her mother, a woman trying to read lovers, and marriage, and herself.
"Smith writes with a scalding aortal brilliance that leaves the reader drunk on dream."--New York Times Book Review Taking as his starting point such wide-ranging subjects as comic books, politics, romantic love, geology, newspapers, totalitarianism, the natural world, the classics, Paris, Miami Beach, and war, Charlie Smith has written freshly realized poems in which compassion and tough-mindedness gesture toward wisdom.
The classic portrait of a vanished people. Every few decades a book is published that shapes Jewish consciousness. One thinks of Wiesel's Night or Levi's Survival in Auschwitz. But in 1927, years before these works were written, Joseph Roth (1894-1939) composed The Wandering Jews. In these stunning dispatches written when Roth was a correspondent in Berlin during the whirlwind period of Weimar Germany, he warned of the false comforts of Jewish assimilation, laid bare the schism between Eastern and Western Jews, and at times prophesied the horrors posed by Nazism. The Wandering Jews remains as vital today as when it was first published. "[A] book of impassioned reportage and polemic...it is impossible not to feel a sympathetic wonder."--Michael Andre Bernstein, The New Republic "In these disturbing yet strikingly illuminating pages, the truth of Jewish destiny from long ago vibrates and sings..."--Elie Wiesel "No other writer...has come so close to achieving the wholeness that Lukacs cites as our impossible aim."--Nadine Gordimer "What a marvelous writer! Read him now. You can thank me later."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World "[C]aptures and encapsulates Europe in those uncertain hours before the upheaval of a continent and the annihilation of a civilization."--Cynthia Ozick, author of Quarrel and Quandary "[A] writer well worth adding to the short list of giants such as Thomas Mann, Elie Wiesel, and Primo Levi."--Hadassah Magazine, Sanford Pinsker
Here is a rich collection of work from five books by one of America's most controversial poets. Marilyn Hacker's poems have been praised for their technical virtuosity, forthright feminism, political acuity, and unabashed eroticism. Included are selections from Hacker's first book, Presentation Piece (1974), the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award Winner; Separations (1976); Taking Notice (1980), which was claimed as an integral part of the burgeoning feminist and lesbian canon; Assumptions (1985), which explored the conundrums of gender, race, and identity in contemporary life; and Going Back to the River(1990), which received a Lambda Literary Award.
Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In her seventh volume Marilyn Hacker confronts life and death at the end of our genocidal century, making another extraordinary contribution to the feminist and lesbian canon.
The story--and the science--of nature's greatest engine. Whether we blink an eye, lift a finger, throw a spear or a ball, walk, run, or merely breathe, we are using muscle. Although muscles differ little in appearance and performance across the animal kingdom, they accomplish tasks as diverse as making flies fly, rattlesnakes rattle, and squid shoot their tentacles. Our everyday activities turn on the performance of nature's main engine: we may breathe harder going uphill, but we put more strain on our muscles walking downhill. Those of us who are right-handed can tighten screws and jar lids more forcibly than we can loosen them. Here we're treated to the story of how form and performance make these things happen--how nature does her work. Steven Vogel is a leader in the great new field of bioengineering, which is rapidly explaining the beauty and efficiency of nature. His talents as both scientist and writer shine in this masterful narrative of biological ingenuity, as he relates the story--and science--of nature's greatest engine.
"The travel book of the season."--Craig Seligman, New York Times Book Review The first book to distill Jan Morris's entire body of work into one volume, The World is a magnum opus by the most-celebrated travel writer in the world. To read it is to take an epic armchair journey through the last half of twentieth-century history. A breathtakingly vivid guide to our greatest cosmopolitan cities and cultures from Manhattan to Venice and from Baghdad to Barbados, this book assembles fifty years of Morris's finest travel writing. With eyewitness accounts of such seminal moments as the first successful ascent of Everest, the Eichmann trial, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the handover of Hong Kong, The World promises to create an entirely new generation of Jan Morris readers. A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2003.
"Each of Moss's surprising, beautifully constructed, and soulful stories brilliantly illuminates the paradox of paradise." --Booklist These eight magical stories address the Edenic spaces that people create in their lives and the serpents that subtly inhabit them. In "Rug Weaver" (selected for Best American Short Stories 2001) an Iranian rug dealer makes a paradise of his prison cell by weaving an elaborate rug in his mind. Grieving parents in the title story transfigure a luxury subdivision in southern California into a vision of heaven. And in the novella "The Palm Tree of Dilys Cathcart" an unlikely love story unfolds between an Orthodox Jewish butcher and a lonely English piano teacher, who discovers a hunger for intimacy and ritual as she helps the butcher transcribe the mysterious songs he hears in his head. These and other stories constitute an elegant and richly evocative collection about the complexities of worldly and spiritual desires. Reading group guide included.
"All these many years down the road, Lou Gehrig's reputation still holds up as does Ray Robinson's elegant biography." -Bob Costas Lou Gehrig will go down in history as one of the best ballplayers of all time; he was elected to the Hall of Fame and played in a record-setting 2,130 consecutive games. ALSknown today as "Lou Gehrig's Disease"robbed him of his physical skills at a relatively young age, and he died in 1941. Ray Robinson re-creates the life of this legendary ballplayer and also provides an insightful look at baseball, including all the great players of that era: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and more. 16 photographs.
Even two hundred years after Abraham Lincoln's death, we, like Walt Whitman, "love the President personally." In a stunning feat of scholarship, insight, and engaging prose, Lincoln's Body explores how a president ungainly in body and downright "ugly" of aspect came to mean so much to us. The very roughness of Lincoln's appearance made him seem all the more common, one of us--as did his sense of humor about his own awkward physical nature. Nineteenth-century African Americans felt deep affection for their "liberator" as a "homely" man who did not hold himself apart. During Reconstruction, Southerners felt a nostalgia for the humility of Lincoln, whom they envisioned as a "conciliator." Later, teachers glorified Lincoln as a symbol of nationhood that would appeal to poor immigrants. Monument makers focused not only on the man's gigantic body but also on his nationalist efforts to save the Union, downplaying his emancipation of the slaves. Among both black and white liberals in the 1960s and 1970s, Lincoln was derided or fell out of fashion. More recently, Lincoln has once again been embodied (as both idealist and pragmatist, unafraid of conflict and transcending it) by outstanding historians, by self-identified Lincolnian president Barack Obama, and by actor Daniel Day-Lewis--all keeping Lincoln alive in a body of memory that speaks volumes about our nation.
An intimate, surprising look at man's best friend and what the leading philosophies of dog training teach us about ourselves. Years back, Melissa Holbrook Pierson brought home a border collie named Mercy, without a clue of how to get her to behave. Stunned after hiring a trainer whose immediate rapport with Mercy seemed magical, Pierson began delving into the techniques of positive reinforcement. She made her way to B. F. Skinner, the behavioral psychologist who started it all, the man who could train a pigeon to dance in minutes and whose research on how behavior is acquired has ramifications for military dolphin trainers, athletes, dancers, and, as he originally conceived, society at large. To learn more, Pierson met with a host of fascinating animal behaviorists, going behind the scenes to witness the relationships between trainers and animals at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, and to the in-depth seminars at a Clicker Expo where all the dogs but hers seemed to be learning new tricks. The often startling story of what became of a pathbreaking scientist's work is interwoven with a more personal tale of how to understand the foreign species with whom we are privileged to live. Pierson draws surprising connections in her exploration of how kindness works to motivate all animals, including the human one.
The Outer Lands: A Natural History Guide to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island, and Long Islandby Robert Finch Dorothy Sterling Winifred Lubell
Did you know that horseshoe crabs have been around for 200 million years? That mussels "spin" long anchor lines and climb steep slopes with them? Do you know what a "Beetlebung" tree is? This is all part of Dorothy Sterling's fascinating description of The Outer Lands, and the plants and animals that inhabit this peninsula and chain of islands along our New England coast.