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Inside Insurgency

by Claire Metelits

Once considered nationalists, many insurgent groups are now labeled as terrorists and thought to endanger not just their own people, but the world. As the unprecedented trends in political violence among insurgents have taken shape, and as hundreds of thousands of civilians continue to be displaced, brutalized, and killed, Inside Insurgency provides startling insights that help to explain the nature of insurgent behavior.Claire Metelits draws from over 100 interviews with insurgent soldiers, commanders, government officials, scholars, and civilians in Sudan, Kenya, Colombia, Turkey, and Iraq, offering a new understanding of insurgent group behavior and providing compelling and intimate portraits of the SPLA, FARC, and PKK. The engaging narratives that emerge from her on-the-ground fieldwork provide incredibly valuable and accurate first-hand documentation of the tactics of some of the world's most notorious insurgent groups. Inside Insurgency offers the reader a timely and intimate understanding of these movements, and explains the changing behavior of insurgent groups toward the civilians they claim to represent.

Dangerous Curves

by Isabel Molina-Guzman

With images of Jennifer Lopez's butt and America Ferrera's smile saturating national and global culture, Latina bodies have become an ubiquitous presence. Dangerous Curves traces the visibility of the Latina body in the media and popular culture by analyzing a broad range of popular media including news, media gossip, movies, television news, and online audience discussions.Isabel Molina-Guzmán maps the ways in which the Latina body is gendered, sexualized, and racialized within the United States media using a series of fascinating case studies. The book examines tabloid headlines about Jennifer Lopez's indomitable sexuality, the contested authenticity of Salma Hayek's portrayal of Frida Kahlo in the movie Frida, and America Ferrera's universally appealing yet racially sublimated Ugly Betty character. Dangerous Curves carves out a mediated terrain where these racially ambiguous but ethnically marked feminine bodies sell everything from haute couture to tabloids.Through a careful examination of the cultural tensions embedded in the visibility of Latina bodies in United States media culture, Molina-Guzmán paints a nuanced portrait of the media's role in shaping public knowledge about Latina identity and Latinidad, and the ways political and social forces shape media representations.

Immigration and Crime

by Abel Valenzuela Jr. Ramiro Martinez Jr.

The original essays in this much-needed collection broadly assess the contemporary patterns of crime as related to immigration, race, and ethnicity. Immigration and Crime covers both a variety of immigrant groups--mainly from Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America--and a variety of topics including: victimization, racial conflict, juvenile delinquency, exposure to violence, homicide, drugs, gangs, and border violence.The volume provides important insights about past understandings of immigration and crime, many based on theories that have proven to be untrue or racially biased, as well as offering new scholarship on salient topics. Overall, the contributors argue that fears of immigrant crime are largely unfounded, as immigrants are themselves often more likely to be the victims of discrimination, stigmatization, and crime rather than the perpetrators.Contributors: Avraham Astor, Carl L. Bankston III, Robert J. Bursik, Jr., Roberto G. Gonzales, Sang Hea Kil, Golnaz Komaie, Jennifer Lee, Matthew T. Lee, Ramiro Martínez, Jr., Cecilia Menjívar, Jeffrey D. Morenoff, Charlie V. Morgan, Amie L. Nielsen, Rubén G. Rumbaut, Rosaura Tafoya-Estrada, Abel Valenzuela, Jr., Min Zhou.

Critical Cyberculture Studies

by Steve Jones David Silver Adrienne Massanari

Starting in the early 1990s, journalists and scholars began responding to and trying to take account of new technologies and their impact on our lives. By the end of the decade, the full-fledged study of cyberculture had arrived. Today, there exists a large body of critical work on the subject, with cutting-edge studies probing beyond the mere existence of virtual communities and online identities to examine the social, cultural, and economic relationships that take place online.Taking stock of the exciting work that is being done and positing what cyberculture's future might look like, Critical Cyberculture Studies brings together a diverse and multidisciplinary group of scholars from around the world to assess the state of the field. Opening with a historical overview of the field by its most prominent spokesperson, it goes on to highlight the interests and methodologies of a mobile and creative field, providing a much-needed how-to guide for those new to cyberstudies. The final two sections open up to explore issues of race, class, and gender and digital media's ties to capital and commerce--from the failure of dot-coms to free software and the hacking movement.This flagship book is a must-read for anyone interested in the dynamic and increasingly crucial study of cyberculture and new technologies.

Sells like Teen Spirit

by Ryan Moore

Music has always been central to the cultures that young people create, follow, and embrace. In the 1960s, young hippie kids sang along about peace with the likes of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and tried to change the world. In the 1970s, many young people ended up coming home in body bags from Vietnam, and the music scene changed, embracing punk and bands like The Sex Pistols. In Sells Like Teen Spirit, Ryan Moore tells the story of how music and youth culture have changed along with the economic, political, and cultural transformations of American society in the last four decades. By attending concerts, hanging out in dance clubs and after-hour bars, and examining the do-it-yourself music scene, Moore gives a riveting, first-hand account of the sights, sounds, and smells of "teen spirit."Moore traces the histories of punk, hardcore, heavy metal, glam, thrash, alternative rock, grunge, and riot grrrl music, and relates them to wider social changes that have taken place. Alongside the thirty images of concert photos, zines, flyers, and album covers in the book, Moore offers original interpretations of the music of a wide range of bands including Black Sabbath, Black Flag, Metallica, Nirvana, and Sleater-Kinney. Written in a lively, engaging, and witty style, Sells Like Teen Spirit suggests a more hopeful attitude about the ways that music can be used as a counter to an overly commercialized culture, showcasing recent musical innovations by youth that emphasize democratic participation and creative self-expression--even at the cost of potential copyright infringement.

Cruising Utopia

by José Esteban Muñoz

The LGBT agenda for too long has been dominated by pragmatic issues like same-sex marriage and gays in the military. It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist.Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O'Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future.In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.

Gun Crusaders

by Scott Melzer

Nothing conjures up images of the American frontier and a pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps view of freedom and independence quite like guns. Gun Crusaders is a fascinating inside look at how the four-million member National Rifle Association and its committed members come to see each and every gun control threat as a step down the path towards gun confiscation, and eventually socialism. Enlivened by a rich analysis of NRA materials, meetings, leader speeches, and unique in-depth interviews with NRA members, Gun Crusaders focuses on how the NRA constructs and perceives threats to gun rights as one more attack in a broad liberal cultural war. Scott Melzer shows that the NRA promotes a nostalgic vision of frontier masculinity, whereby gun rights defenders are seen as patriots and freedom fighters, defending not the freedom of religion, but the religion of individual rights and freedoms.

The Mystery of the Rosary

by Nathan D. Mitchell

Ever since its appearance in Europe five centuries ago, the rosary has been a widespread, highly visible devotion among Roman Catholics. Its popularity has persisted despite centuries of often seismic social upheaval, cultural change, and institutional reform. In form, the rosary consists of a ritually repeated sequence of prayers accompanied by meditations on episodes in the lives of Christ and Mary. As a devotional object of round beads strung on cord or wire, the rosary has changed very little since its introduction centuries ago. Today, the rosary can be found on virtually every continent, and in the hands of hard-line traditionalists as well as progressive Catholics. It is beloved by popes, professors, protesters, commuters on their way to work, children learning their "first prayers," and homeless persons seeking shelter and safety.Why has this particular devotional object been so ubiquitous and resilient, especially in the face of Catholicism's reinvention in the Early Modern, or "Counter-Reformation," Era? Nathan D. Mitchell argues in lyric prose that to understand the rosary's adaptability, it is essential to consider the changes Catholicism itself began to experience in the aftermath of the Reformation.Unlike many other scholars of this period, Mitchell argues that after the Reformation Catholicism actually became more innovative and diversified rather than retrenched and monolithic. This innovation was especially evident in the sometimes "subversive"; visual representations of sacred subjects, such as in the paintings of Caravaggio, and in new ways of perceiving the relation between Catholic devotion and the liturgy&#8217s ritual symbols. The rosary was thus involved not only in how Catholics gave flesh to their faith, but in new ways of constructing their personal and collective identity. Ultimately, Mitchell employs the history of the rosary, and the concomitant devotion to the Virgin Mary with which it is associated, as a lens through which to better understand early modern Catholic history.

Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches

by Vasilios N. Makrides

Covering an expanse of more than three thousand years,Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches charts, in one concise volume, the history of Greece's religious cultures from antiquity all the way through to present, post-independence Greece.Focusing on the encounter and interaction between Hellenism and (Orthodox) Christianity, which is the most salient feature of Greece's religious landscape--influencing not only Greek religious history, but Greek culture and history as a whole--Vasilios N. Makrides considers the religious cultures of Greece both historically, from the ancient Greek through the Byzantine and the Ottoman periods up to the present, and systematically, by locating common characteristics and trajectoriesacross time. Weaving other traditions including Judaism and Islam into his account, Makrides highlights the patterns of development, continuity, and change that have characterized the country's long and unique religious history.Contrary to the arguments of those who posit a single, exclusive religious culture for Greece, Makrides demonstrates the diversity and plurality that has characterized Greece's religious landscape across history. Beautifully written and easy to navigate, Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches offers an essential foundation for students, scholars, and the public on Greece's long religious history, from ancient Greece and the origins of Christianity to the formation of "Helleno-Christianity" in modern Greece.

International Adoption

by Diana Marre Laura Briggs

In the past two decades, transnational adoption has exploded in scope and significance, growing up along increasingly globalized economic relations and the development and improvement of reproductive technologies. A complex and understudied system, transnational adoption opens a window onto the relations between nations, the inequalities of the rich and the poor, and the history of race and racialization, Transnational adoption has been marked by the geographies of unequal power, as children move from poorer countries and families to wealthier ones, yet little work has been done to synthesize its complex and sometimes contradictory effects.Rather than focusing only on the United States, as much previous work on the topic does, International Adoption considers the perspectives of a number of sending countries as well as other receiving countries, particularly in Europe. The book also reminds us that the U.S. also sends children into international adoptions--particularly children of color. The book thus complicates the standard scholarly treatment of the subject, which tends to focus on the tensions between those who argue that transnational adoption is an outgrowth of American wealth, power, and military might (as well as a rejection of adoption from domestic foster care) and those who maintain that it is about a desire to help children in need.

Children in Colonial America

by James Marten Philip J. Greven

The Pilgrims and Puritans did not arrive on the shores of New England alone. Nor did African men and women, brought to the Americas as slaves. Though it would be hard to tell from the historical record, European colonists and African slaves had children, as did the indigenous families whom they encountered, and those children's life experiences enrich and complicate our understanding of colonial America.Through essays, primary documents, and contemporary illustrations, Children in Colonial America examines the unique aspects of childhood in the American colonies between the late sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries. The twelve original essays observe a diverse cross-section of children--from indigenous peoples of the east coast and Mexico to Dutch-born children of the Plymouth colony and African-born offspring of slaves in the Caribbean--and explore themes including parenting and childrearing practices, children's health and education, sibling relations, child abuse, mental health, gender, play, and rites of passage.Taken together, the essays and documents in Children in Colonial America shed light on the ways in which the process of colonization shaped childhood, and in turn how the experience of children affected life in colonial America.

The Technology of Policing

by Peter K. Manning

With the rise of surveillance technology in the last decade, police departments now have an array of sophisticated tools for tracking, monitoring, even predicting crime patterns. In particular crime mapping, a technique used by the police to monitor crime by the neighborhoods in their geographic regions, has become a regular and relied-upon feature of policing. Many claim that these technological developments played a role in the crime drop of the 1990s, and yet no study of these techniques and their relationship to everyday police work has been made available.Noted scholar Peter K. Manning spent six years observing three American police departments and two British constabularies in order to determine what effects these kinds of analytic tools have had on modern police management and practices. While modern technology allows the police to combat crime in sophisticated, detail-oriented ways, Manning discovers that police strategies and tactics have not been altogether transformed as perhaps would be expected. In The Technology of Policing, Manning untangles the varying kinds of complex crime-control rhetoric that underlie much of today's police department discussion and management, and provides valuable insight into which are the most effective-and which may be harmful--in successfully tracking criminal behavior.The Technology of Policing offers a new understanding of the changing world of police departments and information technology's significant and undeniable influence on crime management.

Getting Played

by Jody Miller

2010 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association; Race, Gender, and Class Section2008 Finalist, The Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award Much has been written about the challenges that face urban African American young men, but less is said about the harsh realities for African American young women in disadvantaged communities. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and even gang rape are not uncommon experiences. In Getting Played, sociologist Jody Miller presents a compelling picture of this dire social problem and explores how inextricably, and tragically, linked violence is to their daily lives in poor urban neighborhoods.Drawing from richly textured interviews with adolescent girls and boys, Miller brings a keen eye to the troubling realities of a world infused with danger and gender-based violence. These girls are isolated, ignored, and often victimized by those considered family and friends. Community institutions such as the police and schools that are meant to protect them often turn a blind eye, leaving girls to fend for themselves. Miller draws a vivid picture of the race and gender inequalities that harm these communities-and how these result in deeply and dangerously engrained beliefs about gender that teach youths to see such violence-rather than the result of broader social inequalities-as deserved due to individual girls' flawed characters, i.e., she deserved it. Through Miller's careful analysis of these engaging, often unsettling stories, Getting Played shows us not only how these young women are victimized, but how, despite vastly inadequate social support and opportunities, they struggle to navigate this dangerous terrain.

Raising Freedom's Child

by Mary Niall Mitchell

The end of slavery in the United States inspired conflicting visions of the future for all Americans in the nineteenth century, black and white, slave and free. The black child became a figure upon which people projected their hopes and fears about slavery's abolition. As a member of the first generation of African Americans raised in freedom, the black child--freedom's child--offered up the possibility that blacks might soon enjoy the same privileges as whites: landownership, equality, autonomy. Yet for most white southerners, this vision was unwelcome, even frightening. Many northerners, too, expressed doubts about the consequences of abolition for the nation and its identity as a white republic.From the 1850s and the Civil War to emancipation and the official end of Reconstruction in 1877, Raising Freedom's Child examines slave emancipation and opposition to it as a far-reaching, national event with profound social, political, and cultural consequences. Mary Niall Mitchell analyzes multiple views of the black child--in letters, photographs, newspapers, novels, and court cases--to demonstrate how Americans contested and defended slavery and its abolition.With each chapter, Mitchell narrates an episode in the lives of freedom's children, from debates over their education and labor to the future of racial classification and American citizenship.Raising Freedom's Child illustrates how intensely the image of the black child captured the imaginations of many Americans during the upheavals of the Civil War era. Through public struggles over the black child, Mitchell argues, Americans by turns challenged and reinforced the racial inequality fostered under slavery in the United States. Only with the triumph of segregation in public schools in 1877 did the black child lose her central role in the national debate over civil rights, a role she would not play again until the 1950s.


by Julie Miller

Two interesting items: The author's article in New York ArchivesA letter regarding foundlings in The Riverdale PressIn the nineteenth century, foundlings-children abandoned by their desperately poor, typically unmarried mothers, usually shortly after birth-were commonplace in European society. There were asylums in every major city to house abandoned babies, and writers made them the heroes of their fiction, most notably Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. In American cities before the Civil War the situation was different, with foundlings relegated to the poorhouse instead of institutions designed specifically for their care. By the eve of the Civil War, New York City in particular had an epidemic of foundlings on its hands due to the rapid and often interlinked phenomena of urban development, population growth, immigration, and mass poverty. Only then did the city's leaders begin to worry about the welfare and future of its abandoned children.In Abandoned, Julie Miller offers a fascinating, frustrating, and often heartbreaking history of a once devastating, now forgotten social problem that wracked America's biggest metropolis, New York City. Filled with anecdotes and personal stories, Miller traces the shift in attitudes toward foundlings from ignorance, apathy, and sometimes pity for the children and their mothers to that of recognition of the problem as a sign of urban moral decline and in need of systematic intervention. Assistance came from public officials and religious reformers who constructed four institutions: the Nursery and Child's Hospital's foundling asylum, the New York Infant Asylum, the New York Foundling Asylum, and the public Infant Hospital, located on Randall's Island in the East River.Ultimately, the foundling asylums were unable to significantly improve children's lives, and by the early twentieth century, three out of the four foundling asylums had closed, as adoption took the place of abandonment and foster care took the place of institutions. Today the word foundling has been largely forgotten. Fortunately, Abandoned rescues its history from obscurity.

Living through the Hoop

by Reuben A. May

Visit the author's YouTube channel!When high school basketball player LeBron James was selected as the top pick in the National Basketball Association draft of 2003, the hopes of a half-million high school basketball players soared. If LeBron could go straight from high school to the NBA, why couldn't they? Such is the allure of basketball for so many young African American men. Unfortunately, the reality is that their chances of ever playing basketball at the professional, or even college, level are infinitesimal. In Living Through the Hoop, Reuben A. Buford May tells the absorbing story of the hopes and struggles of one high school basketball team.With a clear passion for the game, May grabs readers with both hands and pulls them onto the hardwood, going under the hoop and inside the locker room. May spent seven seasons as an assistant coach of the Northeast High School Knights in Northeast, Georgia. We meet players like Larique and Pooty Cat, hard-working and energetic young men, willing to play and practice basketball seven days a week and banking on the unlimited promise of the game. And we meet Coach Benson, their unorthodox, out-spoken, and fierce leader, who regularly coached them to winning seasons, twice going to the state tournaments Elite Eight championships.Beyond the wins and losses, May provides a portrait of the players' hopes and aspirations, their home lives, and the difficulties they face in living in a poor and urban area -- namely, the temptations of drugs and alcohol, violence in their communities, run-ins with the police, and unstable family lives. We learn what it means to become a man when you live in places that define manhood by how tough you can be, how many women you can have, and how much money you can hustle.May shows the powerful role that the basketball team can play in keeping these kids straight, away from street-life, focused on completing high school, and possibly even attending college. Their stories, and the double-edged sword of hoop dreams, is at the heart of this compelling story about young African American men's struggle to find their way in an often grim world.

America's Colony

by Pedro A Malavet

The precise legal nature of the relationship between the United States and the people of Puerto Rico was not explicitly determined in 1898 when the Treaty of Paris transferred sovereignty over Puerto Rico from Spain to the United States. Since then, many court cases, beginning in 1901, have been instrumental in defining this delicate relationship.While the legislation has clearly established the nonexistence of Puerto Rican nationhood and lack of independent Puerto Rican citizenship, the debate over Puerto Rico's status continues to this day.Malavet offers a critique of Puerto Rico's current status as well as of its treatment by the U.S. legal and political systems. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States, and Puerto Ricans living on this geographically separate island are subject to the United States's legal and political authority. They are the largest group of U.S. citizens currently living under territorial status. Malavet argues that the Puerto Rican cultural nation experiences U.S. imperialism, which compromises both the island's sovereignty and Puerto Ricans' citizenship rights. He analyzes the three alternatives to Puerto Rico's continued territorial status, examining the challenges manifest in each possibility, as well as illuminating what he believes to be the best course of action.

Business in Black and White

by Robert E. Weems Lewis A. Randolph

Business in Black and White provides a panoramic discussion of various initiatives that American presidents have supported to promote black business development in the United States. Many assume that U.S. government interest in promoting black entrepreneurship began with Richard Nixon's establishment of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE) in 1969. Drawn from a variety of sources, Robert E. Weems, Jr.'s comprehensive work extends the chronology back to the Coolidge Administration with a compelling discussion of the Commerce Departmen's "Division of Negro Affairs."Weems deftly illustrates how every administration since Coolidge has addressed the subject of black business development, from campaign promises to initiatives to downright roadblocks. Although the governmen's influence on black business dwindled during the Eisenhower Administration, Weems points out that the subject was reinvigorated during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations and, in fact, during the early-to-mid 1960s, when "civil rights" included the right to own and operate commercial enterprises. After Nixon's resignation, support for black business development remained intact, though it met resistance and continues to do so even today. As a historical text with contemporary significance, Business in Black and White is an original contribution to the realms of African American history, the American presidency, and American business history.

Horace Greeley

by Robert C. Williams

From his arrival in New York City in 1831 as a young printer from New Hampshire to his death in 1872 after losing the presidential election to General Ulysses S. Grant, Horace Greeley (b. 1811) was a quintessential New Yorker. He thrived on the city's ceaseless energy, with his New York Tribune at the forefront of a national revolution in reporting and transmitting news. Greeley devoured ideas, books, fads, and current events as quickly as he developed his own interests and causes, all of which revolved around the concept of freedom. While he adored his work as a New York editor, Greeley's lifelong quest for universal freedom took him to the edge of the American frontier and beyond to Europe. A major figure in nineteenth-century American politics and reform movements, Greeley was also a key actor in a worldwide debate about the meaning of freedom that involved progressive thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Karl Marx.Greeley was first and foremost an ardent nationalist who devoted his life to ensuring that America live up to its promises of liberty and freedom for all of its members. Robert C. Williams places Greeley's relentless political ambitions, bold reform agenda, and complex personal life into the broader context of freedom. Horace Greeley is as rigorous and vast as Greeley himself, and as America itself in the long nineteenth century.In the first comprehensive biography of Greeley to be published in nearly half a century, Williams captures Greeley from all sides: editor, reformer, political candidate, eccentric, and trans-Atlantic public intellectual; examining headlining news issues of the day, including slavery, westward expansion, European revolutions, the Civil War, the demise of the Whig and the birth of the Republican parties, transcendentalism, and other intellectual currents of the era.


by Zina Weygand Therese-Adèle Husson Catherine Kudlick

In the 1820s, several years before Braille was invented, Therese-Adele Husson, a young blind woman from provincial France, wrote an audacious manifesto about her life, French society, and her hopes for the future. Through extensive research and scholarly detective work, authors Catherine Kudlick and Zina Weygand have rescued this intriguing woman and the remarkable story of her life and tragic death from obscurity, giving readers a rare look into a world recorded by an unlikely historical figure. Reflections is one of the earliest recorded manifestations of group solidarity among people with the same disability, advocating self-sufficiency and independence on the part of blind people, encouraging education for all blind children, and exploring gender roles for both men and women. Resolutely defying the sense of "otherness" which pervades discourse about the disabled, Husson instead convinces us that that blindness offers a fresh and important perspective on both history and ourselves. In rescuing this important historical account and recreating the life of an obscure but potent figure, Weygand and Kudlick have awakened a perspective that transcends time and which, ultimately, remaps our inherent ideas of physical sensibility

They Left Great Marks on Me

by Kidada E. Williams

Well after slavery was abolished, its legacy of violence left deep wounds on African Americans' bodies, minds, and lives. For many victims and witnesses of the assaults, rapes, murders, nightrides, lynchings, and other bloody acts that followed, the suffering this violence engendered was at once too painful to put into words yet too horrible to suppress. In this evocative and deeply moving history Kidada Williams examines African Americans' testimonies about racial violence. By using both oral and print culture to testify about violence, victims and witnesses hoped they would be able to graphically disseminate enough knowledge about its occurrence and inspire Americans to take action to end it. In the process of testifying, these people created a vernacular history of the violence they endured and witnessed, as well as the identities that grew from the experience of violence. This history fostered an oppositional consciousness to racial violence that inspired African Americans to form and support campaigns to end violence. The resulting crusades against racial violence became one of the political training grounds for the civil rights movement.

In The Company Of Black Men

by Craig Steven Wilder

From the subaltern assemblies of the enslaved in colonial New York City to the benevolent New York African Society of the early national era to the formation of the African Blood Brotherhood in twentieth century Harlem, voluntary associations have been a fixture of African-American communities. In the Company of Black Men examines New York City over three centuries to show that enslaved Africans provided the institutional foundation upon which African-American religious, political, and social culture could flourish. Arguing that the universality of the voluntary tradition in African-American communities has its basis in collectivism--a behavioral and rhetorical tendency to privilege the group over the individual--it explores the institutions that arose as enslaved Africans exploited the potential for group action and mass resistance. Craig Steven Wilder's research is particularly exciting in its assertion that Africans entered the Americas equipped with intellectual traditions and sociological models that facilitated a communitarian response to oppression. Presenting a dramatic shift from previous work which has viewed African-American male associations as derivative and imitative of white male counterparts, In the Company of Black Men provides a ground-breaking template for investigating antebellum black institutions.

Technomobility in China

by Cara Wallis

As unprecedented waves of young, rural women journey to cities in China, not only to work, but also to "see the world"and gain some autonomy, they regularly face significant institutional obstacles as well as deep-seated anti-rural prejudices. Based on immersive fieldwork, Cara Wallis provides an intimate portrait of the social, cultural, and economic implications of mobile communication for a group of young women engaged in unskilled service work in Beijing, where they live and work for indefinite periods of time. While simultaneously situating her work within the fields of feminist studies, technology studies, and communication theory, Wallis explores the way in which the cell phone has been integrated into the transforming social structures and practices of contemporary China, and the ways in which mobile technology enables rural young women--a population that has been traditionally marginalized and deemed as "backward" and "other"--to participate in and create culture, allowing them to perform a modern, rural-urban identity. In this theoretically rich and empirically grounded analysis,Wallis provides original insight into the co-construction of technology and subjectivity as well as the multiple forces that shape contemporary China.

Critics at Work

by Jeffrey J. Williams

Featuring interviews with nineteen leading U.S. literary and cultural critics, Critics at Work offers a unique picture of recent developments in literary studies, critical theory, American studies, gay and lesbian studies, philosophy, and other fields. It provides informative, timely, and often provocative commentary on a broad range of topics, from the state of theory today and the prospects for cultural studies to the role of public intellectuals and the place of political activism. These conversations also elicit illuminating and sometimes surprising insights into the personal and professional lives of its contributors. Individually, each interview gives a significant overview of a critic's work. Taken together, they provide an assessment of literary and cultural studies from the establishment of theory and its diffusion, in recent years, into various cultural and identity studies. In addition to the interviews themselves, the volume includes useful short introductions to each critic's work and biography. Interviewees: K. Anthony Appiah, Lauren Berlant, Cathy Davidson, Morris Dickstein, Stanley Fish, Barbara Foley, Nancy Fraser, Gerald Graff, Alice Kaplan, E. Ann Kaplan, Robin D.G. Kelley, Paul Lauter, Louis Menand, Richard Ohmann, Andrew Ross, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jane Tompkins, Marianna Torgovnick, and Alan Wald.

How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People

by John K. Wilson

If we were to rely on what the pundits and politicians tell us, we would have to conclude that America is a deeply conservative nation. Americans, we hear constantly, detest government, demand lower taxes and the end of welfare, and favor the death penalty, prayer in school, and an absolute faith in the free market. And yet Americans believe deeply in progressive ideas. In fact, progressivism has long been a powerful force in the American psyche. Consider that a mere generation ago the struggle for environmentally sound policies, for women's rights, and for racial equality were fringe movements. Today, open opposition to these core ideals would be political suicide. Drawing on this wellspring of American progressivist tradition, John K. Wilson has penned an informal handbook for the pragmatic progressive. Wilson insists that the left must become more savvy in its rhetoric and stop preaching only to the converted. Progressives need to attack the tangible realities of the corporate welfare state, while explicitly acknowledging that "socialism is," as Wilson writes, "deader than Lenin." Rather than attacking a "right-wing conspiracy," Wilson argues that the left needs one, too. Tracing how well-funded conservative pressure groups have wielded their influence and transformed the national agenda, Wilson outlines a similar approach for the left. Along the way, he exposes the faultlines of our poll- and money-driven form of politics, explodes the myth of "the liberal media," and demands that the left explicitly change its image. Irreverent, practical, and urgently argued, How The Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People charts a way to translate progressive ideals into reality and reassert the core principles of the American left on the national stage.

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