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New Book Highlights

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

God in the details : American religion in popular culture edited by Eric Michael Mazur and Kate McCarthy, 2nd ed.

“Exploring the blurred boundary between religion and pop culture, God in the Details offers a provocative look at the breadth and persistence of religious themes in the American consciousness. This new edition reflects the explosion of online activity since the first edition, including chapters on the spiritual implications of social networking sites, and the hazy line between real and virtual religious life in the online community Second Life. Also new to this edition are chapters on the migration of black male expression from churches to athletic stadiums, new configurations of the sacred and the commercial, and post 9/11 spirituality and religious redemption through an analysis of vampire drama, True Blood. Popular chapters on media, sports, and other pop culture experiences have been revised and updated, making this an invaluable resource for students and scholars alike.” –Publisher’s information

The hungry world : America’s Cold War battle against poverty in Asia by Nick Cullather

“A pioneering and transformative work that tracks the politics of hunger from the invention of the calorie to Asia’s Cold War ideological battlegrounds, The Hungry World explores, with a sharp, lively sense of irony, American scientists’ and policy-makers’ relentless and often futile efforts to transmute the conflictual politics of rural deprivation into a technocratic politics of agricultural production.” –Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines

Daniel by Henning Mankell ; translated from the Swedish by Steven T. Murray

“Set in the 1870s, this earnest and heartbreaking story opens with the unsolved murder of a mentally retarded Swedish girl, but this isn’t a mystery in the mode of Mankell’s international bestselling Kurt Wallander novels (Firewall, etc.). Hans Bengler, a Swedish entomologist, travels across southern Africa in search of undiscovered insects. In the desert, he finds an orphaned native boy, whom he adopts on impulse and calls Daniel. Bengler brings Daniel back to Sweden to exhibit him for money. A link eventually emerges between the girl’s murder and Daniel’s story, which dramatically illuminates the evils of colonialism (Bengler notes that he “had to make the important decisions for these black people”) and the cultural chasm between Europeans and Africans. Mankell fully understands Daniel’s radically different cultural perspective and indelibly captures the boy’s longing to return to his homeland and the tragic consequences of his forced exile.” –Publisher’s Weekly

Sheila Hicks : 50 years by Joan Simon and Susan C. Faxon ; with an essay by Whitney Chadwick

“Sheila Hicks (born 1934) is a pioneering artist noted for objects and public commissions whose structures are built of color and fiber. This volume accompanies the first major retrospective of Hicks’s work; it documents the remarkable versatility and dramatically divergent scale of her textiles as well as her distinctive use, and surprising range, of materials. Hicks deliberately and provocatively engages what are often considered mutually exclusive domains, rethinking and pushing the limits of generally accepted contexts, conditions, and frameworks. These include distinct objects and temporal, performative actions; studio works and commissions for public buildings; and textiles made in artisanal workshops as well as for industrial production in places as different as Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States.” –Publisher’s information

New Book Highlights

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Diary of a very bad year : confessions of an anonymous hedge fund manager with n+1 ; introduction by Keith Gessen

“This book is a series of interviews with an anonymous hedge-fund manager (HFM) by the co-editor of a literary magazine (who admits to being ill-informed on finance); he sets out to understand what is happening on Wall Street. The HFM offers a brilliant financial professional’s view of the economic situation in real time, from September 2007, when problems in financial markets began to surface, until late summer 2009, when the financial meltdown generally subsided and the financial community went back, in HFM’s view, to business as usual.” –Booklist

Antidiets of the avant-garde : from Futurist cooking to Eat art by Cecilia Novero

“Discussing an aspect of the European avant-garde that has often been neglected-its relationship to the embodied experience of food, its sensation, and its consumption. Cecilia Novero exposes the surprisingly key roles that food plays in the theoretical foundations and material aesthetics of a broad stratum of works ranging from the Italian Futurist Cookbook to the magazine Dada, Walter Benjamin’s writings on eating and cooking, Daniel Spoerri’s Eat Art, and the French New Realists.” –Publisher’s description

Here’s looking at Euclid : a surprising excursion through the astonishing world of math / by Alex Bellos

“What Bellos calls “the wow factor” of mathematics leaps out at the reader from every page of this remarkable foray into the realm of numbers. Beginning with a visit with an Amazon-basin tribe who never count above five, Bellos launches a fascinating journey of discovery, probing numerical riddles ancient and modern. Readers ponder the ingenuity of the early Sumerians, who pioneered the keeping of records by inexplicably tallying their inventories in sixties, and contemplate the resourcefulness of a third-century Chinese sage who manipulated many-sized figures to calculate an accurate approximation for pi. Readers even pause to marvel at how a ninth-century factory mechanic beat the casinos of Monte Carlo by breaking the code of chance. The stories prove so engaging, the personalities so colorful, that readers may forget they are mastering some powerful mathematical concepts.” –Booklist

Street art San Francisco : Mission muralismo edited by Annice Jacoby ; foreword by Carlos Santana

“With 600 stunning photographs, this comprehensive book showcases more than three decades of street art in San Francisco’s legendary Mission District. Beginning in the early 1970s, a provocative street-art movement combining elements of Mexican mural painting, surrealism, pop art, urban punk, eco-warrior, cartoon, and graffiti has flourished in this dynamic, multicultural community. Rigo, Las Mujeres Muralistas, Gronk, Barry McGee (Twist), R. Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, the Billboard Liberation Front, Swoon, Sam Flores, Neckface, Shepard Fairey, Juana Alicia, Os Gemeos, Reminesce, and Andrew Schoultz are among the many artists who have made the streets of the Mission their public gallery.” –Product description

Documentaries on Poverty in America

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Two recent documentaries provide insights just in time for National Poverty in America Awareness Month. Both are available at Bailey/Howe’s Media Resources.

Living Broke DVD cover

Living broke in boom times : lessons from the Movement to End Poverty DVD produced, directed, and edited by Kathleen Dara Kell ; original films produced and directed by Pamela Yates and Peter Kinoy.

“It is a wonderful documentary, heart-rending in its depiction of homelessness and desperation, yet inspiring in what it shows about the magnificence of people fighting back… I think it can play an important role in arousing people to action.” -Howard Zinn

Learn more: http://skylightpictures.com/site/film_detail/lbibt/

Two Nations DVD cover

The two nations of black America produced by June Cross ; correspondent: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; written by June Cross and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; WGBH Educational Foundation.

“In this FRONTLINE report, correspondent Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard scholar, explores the gaping chasm between the upper and lower classes of black America and probes why it has happened: “How have we reached this point where we have both the largest black middle class and the largest black underclass in our history?” –Producer information

Learn more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/race/

SourceOECD: A Focus on Global Issues

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Big Blue Marble


A great online source on economics and social issues worldwide, that can be used by students and scholars working in a broad range of disciplines, including economics, business, social sciences, development, statistics, environmental science and studies, education, agriculture, and politics.

SourceOECD provides access to the publications of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international governmental organization (IGO) with 30 member countries sharing a commitment to democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society, it has a global reach.

Publications can be accessed by theme in the advanced search mode.

Sample books on energy include Act Locally, Trade Globally: Emissions Trading for Climate Policy, Biofuels for Transport: An International Perspective, and World Energy Outlook 2009.

Data sets can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel.

Want tips on how to use SourceOECD?

Check out the Emory University Libraries “A (Relatively) Quick Guide to Using SourceOECD” or Ask a Librarian at UVM for help.

See also: Official SourceOECD user guide.

“The Blue Marble,” a public domain NASA photograph was taken in 1972 from Apollo 17. It was accessed via NASA’a Visible Earth website.