History

The National Security Sublime | Matthew Potolsky

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Why do recent depictions of government secrecy and surveillance so often use images suggesting massive size and scale: gigantic warehouses, remote black sites, numberless security cameras? Drawing on post-War American art, film, television, and fiction, Matthew Potolsky argues that the aesthetic of the sublime provides a privileged window into the nature of modern intelligence, a way of describing the curiously open secret of covert operations. The book tracks the development of the national security sublime from the Cold War to the War on Terror, and places it in a long history of efforts by artists and writers to represent political secrecy..

Political Science

State Secrecy and Security | William Walters

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In State Secrecy and Security: Refiguring the Covert Imaginary, William Walters calls for secrecy to be given a more central place in critical security studies and elevated to become a core concept when theorising power in liberal democracies. Through investigations into such themes as the mobility of cryptographic secrets, the power of public inquiries, the connection between secrecy and place-making, and the aesthetics of secrecy within immigration enforcement, Walters challenges commonplace understandings of the covert and develops new concepts, methods and themes for secrecy and security research. Walters identifies the covert imaginary as both a limit on our ability to think politics differently and a ground to develop a richer understanding of power. State Secrecy and Security offers readers a set of thinking tools to better understand the strange powers that hiding, revealing, lying, confessing, professing ignorance and many other operations of secrecy put in motion. It will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of security, secrecy and politics more broadly..

Social Science

The Theater of Operations | Joseph Masco

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How did the most powerful nation on earth come to embrace terror as the organizing principle of its security policy? In The Theater of Operations, Joseph Masco locates the origins of the present-day U.S. counterterrorism apparatus in the Cold War's "balance of terror." He shows how, after the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. global War on Terror mobilized a wide range of affective, conceptual, and institutional resources established during the Cold War to enable a new planetary theater of operations. Tracing how specific aspects of emotional management, existential danger, state secrecy, and threat awareness have evolved as core aspects of the American social contract, Masco draws on archival, media, and ethnographic resources to offer a new portrait of American national security culture. Undemocratic and unrelenting, this counterterror state prioritizes speculative practices over facts, and ignores everyday forms of violence across climate, capital, and health in an unprecedented effort to anticipate and eliminate terror threats—real, imagined, and emergent..

Social Science

Underdogs | Heather Love

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A pathbreaking genealogy of queer theory that traces its roots to an unexpected source: sociological research on marginal communities in the era before Stonewall. The sociology of “social deviants” flourished in the United States at midcentury, studying the lives of outsiders such as homosexuals, Jews, disabled people, drug addicts, and political radicals. But in the following decades, many of these downcast figures would become the architects of new social movements, activists in revolt against institutions, the state, and social constraint. As queer theory gained prominence as a subfield of the humanities in the late 1980s, it seemed to inherit these radical, activist impulses—challenging not only gender and sexual norms, but also the nature of society itself. With Underdogs, Heather Love shows that queer theorists inherited as much from sociologists as they did from activists. Through theoretical and archival work, Love traces the connection between midcentury studies of deviance and the antinormative, antiessentialist field of queer theory. While sociologists saw deviance as an inevitable fact of social life, queer theorists embraced it as a rallying cry. A robust interdisciplinary history of the field, Underdogs stages a reencounter with the practices and communities that underwrite radical queer thought..

Political Science

The Democratic Sublime | Jason Frank

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The transition from royal to popular sovereignty during the age of democratic revolutions--from 1776 to 1848--entailed not only the reorganization of institutions of governance and norms of political legitimacy, but also a dramatic transformation in the iconography and symbolism of political power. The personal and external rule of the king, whose body was the physical locus of political authority, was replaced with the impersonal and immanent self-rule of the people, whose power could not be incontestably embodied. This posed representational difficulties that went beyond questions of institutionalization and law, extending into the aesthetic realm of visualization, composition, and form. How to make the people's sovereign will tangible to popular judgment was, and is, a crucial problem of democratic political aesthetics. The Democratic Sublime offers an interdisciplinary exploration of how the revolutionary proliferation of popular assemblies--crowds, demonstrations, gatherings of the "people out of doors"--came to be central to the political aesthetics of democracy during the age of democratic revolutions. Jason Frank argues that popular assemblies allowed the people to manifest as a collective actor capable of enacting dramatic political reforms and change. Moreover, Frank asserts that popular assemblies became privileged sites of democratic representation as they claimed to support the voice of the people while also signaling the material plenitude beyond any single representational claim. Popular assemblies continue to retain this power, in part, because they embody that which escapes representational capture: they disrupt the representational space of appearance and draw their power from the ineffability and resistant materiality of the people's will. Engaging with a wide range of sources, from canonical political theorists (Rousseau, Burke, and Tocqueville) to the novels of Hugo, the visual culture of the barricades, and the memoirs of popular insurgents, The Democratic Sublime demonstrates how making the people's sovereign will tangible to popular judgment became a central dilemma of modern democracy, and how it remains so today..

Science

The Scientific Sublime | Alan G. Gross

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The sublime evokes our awe, our terror, and our wonder. Applied first in ancient Greece to the heights of literary expression, in the 18th-century the sublime was extended to nature and to the sciences, enterprises that viewed the natural world as a manifestation of God's goodness, power, and wisdom. In The Scientific Sublime, Alan Gross reveals the modern-day sublime in popular science. He shows how the great popular scientists of our time--Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Brian Greene, Lisa Randall, Rachel Carson, Stephen Jay Gould, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, and E. O. Wilson--evoke the sublime in response to fundamental questions: How did the universe begin? How did life? How did language? These authors maintain a tradition initiated by Joseph Addison, Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, and Adam Smith, towering 18th-century figures who adapted the literary sublime first to nature, then to science--though with one crucial difference: religion has been replaced wholly by science. In a final chapter, Gross explores science's attack on religion, an assault that attempts to sweep permanently under the rug two questions science cannot answer: What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of the good life?.

Fiction

Sacred Games | Vikram Chandra

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Now a Netflix original series “SACRED GAMES [is] as hard to put down as it is to pick up.” — New York Times Book Review “Bold, fresh and big…SACRED GAMES deserves praise for its ambitions but also for its terrific achievement" — Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air. Seven years in the making, Sacred Games is an epic of exceptional richness and power. Vikram Chandra's novel draws the reader deep into the life of Inspector Sartaj Singh—and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India. Sartaj, one of the very few Sikhs on the Mumbai police force, is used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers. But "the silky Sikh" is now past forty, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide. When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip-off as to the secret hide-out of the legendary boss of G-Company, he's determined that he'll be the one to collect the prize. Vikram Chandra's keenly anticipated new novel is a magnificent story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side. Drawing inspiration from the classics of nineteenth-century fiction, mystery novels, Bollywood movies and Chandra's own life and research on the streets of Mumbai, Sacred Games evokes with devastating realism the way we live now but resonates with the intelligence and emotional depth of the best of literature..

Fiction

Fantastic Women: 18 Tales of the Surreal and the Sublime from Tin House | Rob Spillman

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Featuring work by some of the most exciting contemporary women writers in the United States, Fantastic Women comprises eighteen inventive, insightful narratives steeped in a heady potion of surrealism and macabre black comedy. Meet the daughters of Franz Kafka, Mary Shelley, the Brothers Grimm, and Angela Carter. Fantastic Women assembles the work of eighteen inventive, insightful women authors who steep their narratives in a heady potion of surrealism and macabre black comedy. The results are wildly creative stories that capture the truth about human nature far more than much of the fiction (or, for that matter, the nonfiction) being written today. Why just women? More and more women writers are creating work that not only pushes the envelope but also folds realistic fiction into an origami dragon, transporting readers into worlds we’ve never seen before and digging deeper into the psychic bedrock than their male counterparts. So slip into a pocket universe, drive through a family’s home, awake in the night to find you’ve become a deer, and dive into the ocean to join your mermaid mother. We can’t imagine ever wanting to escape this spellbinding world, but if you must, best leave a trail of crumbs along your way..

Literary Criticism

Gothic Sublime, The | Vijay Mishra

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This book reads the Gothic corpus with a thoroughly postmodern critical apparatus, pointing out that the Gothic Sublime anticipates our own doomed desire to pass beyond the hyperreal. A highly sophisticated theoretical reading of key texts of the Gothic, this book allows the reader to re-live the Gothic, not simply as a nostalgic relic or a pre-romantic aberration, but as a living presence that has strong resonances with the postmodern condition..

Literary Criticism

Coleridge, Language and the Sublime | C. Stokes

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Traversing the themes of language, terror and representation, this is the first study to engage Coleridge through the sublime, showing him to have a compelling position in an ongoing conversation about finitude. Drawing on close readings of both his poetry and prose, it depicts Coleridge as a thinker of 'the limit' with contemporary force..

Religion

Verses from the Center | Stephen Batchelor

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The understanding of the nature of reality is the insight upon which the Buddha was able to achieve his own enlightenment. This vision of the sublime is the source of all that is enigmatic and paradoxical about Buddhism. In Verses from the Center, Stephen Batchelor explores the history of this concept and provides readers with translations of the most important poems ever written on the subject, the poems of 2nd century philosopher Nagarjuna..

Political Science

Government Secrecy | Susan Maret

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Divided into six sections, this title examines Government secrecy (GS) in a variety of contexts, including comparative examination of government control of information, new definitions, categories, censorship, ethics, and secrecy's relationship with freedom of information and transparency..

Fiction

Day of the Oprichnik | Vladimir Sorokin

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One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books 2011 Moscow, 2028. A cold, snowy morning. Andrei Danilovich Komiaga is fast asleep. A scream, a moan, and a death rattle slowly pull him out of his drunken stupor—but wait, that's just his ring tone. And so begins another day in the life of an oprichnik, one of the czar's most trusted courtiers—and one of the country's most feared men. Welcome to the new New Russia, where futuristic technology and the draconian codes of Ivan the Terrible are in perfect synergy. Corporal punishment is back, as is a divine monarch, but these days everyone gets information from high-tech news bubbles, and the elite get high on hallucinogenic, genetically modified fish. Over the course of one day, Andrei Komiaga will bear witness to—and participate in—brutal executions; extravagant parties; meetings with ballerinas, soothsayers, and even the czarina. He will rape and pillage, and he will be moved to tears by the sweetly sung songs of his homeland. He will consume an arsenal of drugs and denounce threats to his great nation's morals. And he will fall in love—perhaps even with a number of his colleagues. Vladimir Sorokin, the man described by Keith Gessen (in The New York Review of Books) as "[the] only real prose writer, and resident genius" of late-Soviet fiction, has imagined a near future both too disturbing to contemplate and too realistic to dismiss. But like all of his best work, Sorokin's new novel explodes with invention and dark humor. A startling, relentless portrait of a troubled and troubling empire, Day of the Oprichnik is at once a richly imagined vision of the future and a razor-sharp diagnosis of a country in crisis..

Social Science

Our History Is the Future | Nick Estes

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How two centuries of Indigenous resistance created the movement proclaiming “Water is life” In 2016, a small protest encampment at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, initially established to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, grew to be the largest Indigenous protest movement in the twenty-first century. Water Protectors knew this battle for native sovereignty had already been fought many times before, and that, even after the encampment was gone, their anticolonial struggle would continue. In Our History Is the Future, Nick Estes traces traditions of Indigenous resistance that led to the #NoDAPL movement. Our History Is the Future is at once a work of history, a manifesto, and an intergenerational story of resistance..

Social Science

Words in Motion | Carol Gluck,Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

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On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity. Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijāb in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain’s relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of “words in motion.” Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing.

Political Science

To the Cloud | Vincent Mosco

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Cloud computing and big data are arguably the most significant forces in information technology today. In the wake of revelations about National Security Agency (NSA) activities, many of which occur "in the cloud", this book offers both enlightenment and a critical view. Vincent Mosco explores where the cloud originated, what it means, and how important it is for business, government and citizens. He describes the intense competition among cloud companies like Amazon and Google, the spread of the cloud to government agencies like the controversial NSA, and the astounding growth of entire cloud cities in China. Is the cloud the long-promised information utility that will solve many of the world's economic and social problems? Or is it just marketing hype? To the Cloud provides the first thorough analysis of the potential and the problems of a technology that may very well disrupt the world..

Literary Criticism

Mimesis | Matthew Potolsky

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A topic that has become increasingly central to the study of art, performance and literature, the term mimesis has long been used to refer to the relationship between an image and its ‘real’ original. However, recent theorists have extended the concept, highlighting new perspectives on key concerns, such as the nature of identity. Matt Potolsky presents a clear introduction to this potentially daunting concept, examining: the foundations of mimetic theory in ancient philosophy, from Plato to Aristotle three key versions of mimesis: imitatio or rhetorical imitation, theatre and theatricality, and artistic realism the position of mimesis in modern theories of identity and culture, through theorists such as Freud, Lacan, Girard and Baudrillard the possible future of mimetic theory in the concept of ‘memes’, which connects evolutionary biology and theories of cultural reproduction. A multidisciplinary study of a term rapidly returning to the forefront of contemporary theory, Mimesis is a welcome guide for readers in such fields as literature, performance and cultural studies..

Philosophy

The Philosophy of War Films | David LaRocca

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Wars have played a momentous role in shaping the course of human history. The ever-present specter of conflict has made it an enduring topic of interest in popular culture, and many movies, from Hollywood blockbusters to independent films, have sought to show the complexities and horrors of war on-screen. In The Philosophy of War Films, David LaRocca compiles a series of essays by prominent scholars that examine the impact of representing war in film and the influence that cinematic images of battle have on human consciousness, belief, and action. The contributors explore a variety of topics, including the aesthetics of war as portrayed on-screen, the effect war has on personal identity, and the ethical problems presented by war. Drawing upon analyses of iconic and critically acclaimed war films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Thin Red Line (1998), Rescue Dawn (2006), Restrepo (2010), and Zero Dark Thirty (2012), this volume's examination of the genre creates new ways of thinking about the philosophy of war. A fascinating look at the manner in which combat and its aftermath are depicted cinematically, The Philosophy of War Films is a timely and engaging read for any philosopher, filmmaker, reader, or viewer who desires a deeper understanding of war and its representation in popular culture..

History

Securing 'the Homeland' | Myriam Anna Dunn,Kristian Søby Kristensen

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This edited volume uses a ‘constructivist/reflexive’ approach to address critical infrastructure protection (CIP), a central political practice associated with national security. The politics of CIP, and the construction of the threat they are meant to counter, effectively establish a powerful discursive connection between that the traditional and normal conditions for day-to-day politics and the exceptional dynamics of national security. Combining political theory and empirical case studies, this volume addresses key issues related to protection and the governance of insecurity in the contemporary world. The contributors track the transformation and evolution of critical infrastructures (and closely related issues of homeland security) into a security problem, and analyze how practices associated with CIP constitute, and are an expression of, changing notions of security and insecurity. The book explores aspects of ‘securitisation’ as well as at practices, audiences, and contexts that enable and constrain the production of the specific form of governmentality that CIP exemplifies. It also explores the rationalities at play, the effects of these security practices, and the implications for our understanding of security and politics today..

Travel

The Joy Of Water | Lonely Planet

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Idyllic wild swimming holes, alluring lakes and magical coves; discover places around the world to experience The Joy of Water with this inspirational new book from Lonely Planet. Tap into the 'water wellness' trend with personal stories about the best places to take a dip and forge a stronger connection to the elements through joyful interactions with water..

Literary Criticism

Davide Rondoni | Gregory M. Pell

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Davide Rondoni: Art in the Movement of Creation is for those passionate about poetry and visual arts. In a comparative literature context that covers authors from Italy, North America, and in between, Pell studies the work of writer and scholar Davide Rondoni and takes a close-reading approach in his study of the vital need for art and poetry in contemporary society..

Science

The Sublime Engine | Stephen Amidon,Thomas Amidon

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The heart has consistently captured the human imagination. It has been singled out as a cultural icon, the repository of our deepest religious and artistic impulses, the organ whose steady functioning is understood, both literally and symbolically, as the very life force itself. The Sublime Engine will explore the profound sense of awe every person feels when they ponder the miracle encased within their ribs. In this lyrical history of our most essential organ, a critically-acclaimed novelist and a leading cardiologist--who happen to be brothers--draw upon history, science, religion, popular culture, and literature to illuminate all of the heart's physical and figurative chambers. Each of the four sections-- The Ancient Heart, The Renaissance Heart, The Modern Heart, and The Future Heart--will focus on a major epoch in our understanding of the heart and the hidden history of cardiology. Erudite, witty, and enthralling, The Sublime Engine makes the heart come alive for readers..

Social Science

State and Nation-Building in Pakistan | Roger D. Long,Gurharpal Singh,Yunas Samad,Ian Talbot

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Religion, violence, and ethnicity are all intertwined in the history of Pakistan. The entrenchment of landed interests, operationalized through violence, ethnic identity, and power through successive regimes has created a system of ‘authoritarian clientalism.’ This book offers comparative, historicist, and multidisciplinary views on the role of identity politics in the development of Pakistan. Bringing together perspectives on the dynamics of state-building, the book provides insights into contemporary processes of national contestation which are crucially affected by their treatment in the world media, and by the reactions they elicit within an increasingly globalised polity. It investigates the resilience of landed elites to political and social change, and, in the years after partition, looks at the impact on land holdings of population transfer. It goes on to discuss religious identities and their role in both the construction of national identity and in the development of sectarianism. The book highlights how ethnicity and identity politics are an enduring marker in Pakistani politics, and why they are increasingly powerful and influential. An insightful collection on a range of perspectives on the dynamics of identity politics and the nation-state, this book on Pakistan will be a useful contribution to South Asian Politics, South Asian History, and Islamic Studies..

Political Science

The State and Terrorism | Joseph H. Campos Ii

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Adopting an innovative approach to the ongoing debate over homeland security and state response to terrorism, Joseph Campos investigates the contextualizing of national security discourse and its management of terrorism. New ideas developed in this book reflect ways in which national security is mobilized through specific discourse to manage threats. In addition, a review of presidential rhetoric over the last 30 years reveals that national security discourse has maintained an ideological hegemony to determine what constitutes violence and appropriate responses. The volume incorporates historical depth and critical theory in a comparative framework to provide an invaluable insight into how national security is developed and how it works with the concept of terrorism to secure the state..

Philosophy

The Sublime Reader | Robert R. Clewis

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This is the first English-language anthology to provide a compendium of primary source material on the sublime. The book takes a chronological approach, covering the earliest ancient traditions up through the early and late modern periods and into contemporary theory. It takes an inclusive, interdisciplinary approach to this key concept in aesthetics and criticism, representing voices and traditions that have often been excluded. As such, it will be of use and interest across the humanities and allied disciplines, from art criticism and literary theory, to gender and cultural studies and environmental philosophy. The anthology includes brief introductions to each selection, reading or discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, a bibliography and index – making it an ideal text for building a course around or for further study. The book's apparatus provides valuable context for exploring the history and contemporary views of the sublime..

Political Science

Crisis of Conscience | Tom Mueller

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"A call to arms and to action, for anyone with a conscience, anyone alarmed about the decline of our democracy." — New York Times-bestselling author Wendell Potter "Powerful...His extensively reported tales of individual whistleblowers and their often cruel fates are compelling...They reveal what it can mean to live in an age of fraud." — The Washington Post "Tom Mueller's authoritative and timely book reveals what drives a few brave souls to expose and denounce specific cases of corruption. He describes the structural decay that plagues many of our most powerful institutions, putting democracy itself in danger." —George Soros A David-and-Goliath story for our times: the riveting account of the heroes who are fighting a rising tide of wrongdoing by the powerful, and showing us the path forward. We live in a period of sweeping corruption -- and a golden age of whistleblowing. Over the past few decades, principled insiders who expose wrongdoing have gained unprecedented legal and social stature, emerging as the government's best weapon against corporate misconduct--and the citizenry's best defense against government gone bad. Whistleblowers force us to confront fundamental questions about the balance between free speech and state secrecy, and between individual morality and corporate power. In Crisis of Conscience, Tom Mueller traces the rise of whistleblowing through a series of riveting cases drawn from the worlds of healthcare and other businesses, Wall Street, and Washington. Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than two hundred whistleblowers and the trailblazing lawyers who arm them for battle--plus politicians, intelligence analysts, government watchdogs, cognitive scientists, and other experts--Mueller anatomizes what inspires some to speak out while the rest of us become complicit in our silence. Whistleblowers, we come to see, are the freethinking, outspoken citizens for whom our republic was conceived. And they are the models we must emulate if our democracy is to survive..

Fiction

Suttree | Cormac McCarthy

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By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there--a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters--he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity..

Social Science

Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory | Angela M. Cirucci,Barry Vacker

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This book provides insight into why Black Mirror has garnered so much attention. Featuring international scholars, the book reverse-engineers Black Mirror episodes and invites readers to consider their own relationships with digital technology through the work of theorists including Foucault, Baudrillard, Debord, McLuhan, and Virilio..

Art

Elegy Landscapes: Constable and Turner and the Intimate Sublime | Stanley Plumly

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A sweeping look at the lives and work of two important English Romantic painters, from a Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author. Renowned poet Stanley Plumly, who has been praised for his “obsessive, intricate, intimate and brilliant” (Washington Post) nonfiction, explores immortality in art through the work of two impressive landscape artists: John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. How is it that this disparate pair will come to be regarded as Britain’s supreme landscape painters, precursors to Impressionism and Modernism? How did each painter’s life influence his work? Almost exact contemporaries, both legendary artists experience a life-changing tragedy—for Constable it is the long illness and death of his wife; for Turner, the death of his singular parent and supporter, his father. Their work will take on new power thereafter: Constable, his Hampstead cloud studies; Turner, his Venetian watercolors and oils. Seeking the transcendent aesthetic awe of the sublime and reeling from their personal anguish, these talented painters portrayed the terrible beauty of the natural world from an intimate, close-up perspective. Plumly studies the paintings against the pull of the artists’ lives, probing how each finds the sublime in different, though inherently connected, worlds. At once a meditation on the difficulties in achieving truly immortal works of art and an exploration of the relationship between artist and artwork, Elegy Landscapes takes a wide-angle look at the philosophy of the sublime..

History

Why America Is Not a New Rome | Vaclav Smil

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An investigation of the America-Rome analogy that goes deeper than the facile comparisons made on talk shows and in glossy magazine articles. America's post–Cold War strategic dominance and its pre-recession affluence inspired pundits to make celebratory comparisons to ancient Rome at its most powerful. Now, with America no longer perceived as invulnerable, engaged in protracted fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, comparisons are to the bloated, decadent, ineffectual later Empire. In Why America Is Not a New Rome, Vaclav Smil looks at these comparisons in detail, going deeper than the facile analogy-making of talk shows and glossy magazine articles. He finds profound differences. Smil, a scientist and a lifelong student of Roman history, focuses on several fundamental concerns: the very meaning of empire; the actual extent and nature of Roman and American power; the role of knowledge and innovation; and demographic and economic basics—population dynamics, illness, death, wealth, and misery. America is not a latter-day Rome, Smil finds, and we need to understand this in order to look ahead without the burden of counterproductive analogies. Superficial similarities do not imply long-term political, demographic, or economic outcomes identical to Rome's..

Political Science

Security in Translation | H. Stritzel

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Security in Translation proposes an innovative way to capture the evolution, spread and local transformation of threat images in world affairs. Reworking traditional securitization theory, this book develops a coherent new framework for analysis that makes securitization theory applicable to empirical studies..

Fiction

Orfeo | Richard Powers

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Orfeo - Richard Powers Preview:

The author of the National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Echo Maker, Richard Powers “may well be one of the smartest novelists now writing” (LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW) Seventy-year-old avant-garde composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home DIY microbiology lab--the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to extract music from rich patterns beyond the ear’s ability to hear--has come to the attention of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid on his house, Els turns fugitive, waiting for the evidence to clear him and for the alarm surrounding his activities to blow over. His days in hiding provoke memories of a turbulent century of musical turf wars and cause Els to reflect on a life spent chasing after transcendent sounds to the bewilderment of an indifferent public. As the national hysteria for safety erupts again in the face of this latest threat, Els--the “Bioterrorist Bach”--feeling the noose around him tighten, embarks on a cross-country trip to visit the people in his past who have most shaped his failed musical journey. Through the help of these people--his ex-wife, his daughter and his long-time artistic collaborator-- Els comes up with a plan to turn this disastrous collision with the security state into one last, resonant artwork that might reach an audience beyond his wildest dreams. Inspired by Steve Kurtz, the bio-artist wrongly arrested for terrorism by the FBI, Orfeo probes the boundary between stifling safety and reckless, releasing danger. It explores the varieties of human hunger, in particular the desire to hear more and to make meaning where there is none. Finally, the book is a meditation on that most endangered and priceless of human resources: attention..

Design

Sara Berman's Closet | Maira Kalman,Alex Kalman

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Maira Kalman, the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style, and Alex Kalman, the designer, curator, writer, and founder of Mmuseumm, combine their talents in this captivating family memoir, a creative blend of narrative and striking visuals that is a paean to an exceptional woman and a celebration of individuality, personal expression, and the art of living authentically. In the early 1950s, Jewish émigré Sara Berman arrived in the Bronx with her husband and two young daughters When the children were grown, she and her husband returned to Israel, but Sara did not stay for long. In the late 1960s, at age sixty, she left her husband after thirty-eight years of marriage. One night, she packed a single suitcase and returned alone to New York City, moving intoa studio apartment in Greenwich Village near her family. In her new home, Sara began discovering new things and establishing new rituals, from watching Jeopardy each night at 7:00 to eating pizza at the Museum of Modern Art’s cafeteria every Wednesday. She also began discarding the unnecessary, according to the Kalmans: "in a burst of personal expression, she decided to wear only white." Sara kept her belongings in an extraordinarily clean and organized closet. Filled with elegant, minimalist, heavily starched, impeccably pressed and folded all-white clothing, including socks and undergarments, as well as carefully selected objects—from a potato grater to her signature perfume, Chanel No.19—the space was sublime. Upon her death in 2004, her family decided to preserve its pristine contents, hoping to find a way to exhibit them one day. In 2015, the Mmuseumm, a new type of museum located in a series of unexpected locations founded and curated by Sara’s grandson, Alex Kalman, recreated the space in a popular exhibit—Sara Berman's Closet—in Tribeca. The installation eventually moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in spring 2019, will become an outdoor monument to independence at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Inspired by the exhibit, this spectacular illustrated memoir, packed with family photographs, exclusive images, and Maira Kalman's distinctive paintings, is an ode to Sara’s life, freedom, and re-invention. Sara Berman’s Closet is an indelible portrait of the human experience—overcoming hardship, taking risks, experiencing joy, enduring loss. It is also a reminder of the significance of the seemingly insignificant moments in our lives—the moments we take for granted that may turn out to be the sweetest. Filled with a daughter and grandson’s wry and touching observations conveyed in Maira’s signature script, Sara Berman’s Closest is a beautiful, loving tribute to one woman’s indomitable spirit..

Political Science

De Gaulle’s Legacy | W. Nester

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This book explores the following: What is the art of power? What is the art of French power? How did Charles de Gaulle understand and assert power, establishing the Fifth Republic and breaking centuries of political instability? How well or poorly have his successors wielded the art of French power to define, defend, or enhance French interests?.

Political Science

Democratization and Civilian Control in Asia | A. Croissant,D. Kuehn,P. Lorenz,P. Chambers

Democratization and Civilian Control in Asia Pdf/ePub eBook Democratization and Civilian Control in Asia Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 675 | Ebook Reads: 675 | File: Democratization and Civilian Control in Asia.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 1137319275

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How can civilians in newly democratized countries ensure their control over the military? While establishing civilian control of the military is a necessary condition for a functioning democracy, it requires prudent strategic action on the part of the decision-makers to remove the military from positions of power and make it follow their orders..

History

Fantasy Film Post 9/11 | F. Pheasant-Kelly

Fantasy Film Post 9/11 Pdf/ePub eBook Fantasy Film Post 9/11 Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 318 | Ebook Reads: 318 | File: Fantasy Film Post 9/11.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 023039213X

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Examining a range of fantasy films released in the past decade, Pheasant-Kelly looks at why these films are meaningful to current audiences. The imagery and themes reflecting 9/11, millennial anxieties, and environmental disasters have furthered fantasy's rise to dominance as they allow viewers to work through traumatic memories of these issues..

History

The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction | Jussi M. Hanhimäki

The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction Pdf/ePub eBook The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 1521 | Ebook Reads: 1521 | File: The United Nations: A Very Short Introduction.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 0190222719

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After seven decades of existence has the UN become obsolete? Is it ripe for retirement? As Jussi Hanhimäki proves in the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, the answer is no. In the second decade of the twenty-first century the UN remains an indispensable organization that continues to save lives and improve the world as its founders hoped. Since its original publication in 2008, this 2nd edition includes more recent examples of the UN Security Council in action and peacekeeping efforts while exploring its most recent successes and failures. After a brief history of the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations, Hanhimäki examines the UN's successes and failures as a guardian of international peace and security, as a promoter of human rights, as a protector of international law, and as an engineer of socio-economic development. This updated edition highlights what continues to make the UN a complicated organization today, and the ongoing challenges between its ambitions and capabilities. Hanhimäki also provides a clear account of the UN and its various arms and organizations (such as UNESCO and UNICEF), and offers a critical overview of the UN Security Council's involvement in recent crises in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Libya, and Syria, and how likely it is to meet its overall goals in the future. Regardless of its obstacles, the UN is likely to survive for the foreseeable future. That alone makes trying to understand the UN in all its manifold - magnificent and frustrating - complexity a worthy task. With this much-needed updated introduction to the UN, Jussi Hanhimäki engages the current debate over the organizations effectiveness as he provides a clear understanding of how it was originally conceived, how it has come to its present form, and how it must confront new challenges in a rapidly changing world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable..

Political Science

The Armenian Experience | Gaïdz Minassian

The Armenian Experience Pdf/ePub eBook The Armenian Experience Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 1986 | Ebook Reads: 1986 | File: The Armenian Experience.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 178673561X

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Armenian national identity has long been associated with what has come to be known as the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Immersing the reader in the history, culture and politics of Armenia – from its foundations as the ancient kingdom of Urartu to the modern-day Republic – Gaïdz Minassian moves past the massacres embedded in the Armenian psyche to position the nation within contemporary global politics. An in-depth study of history and memory, The Armenian Experience examines the characteristics and sentiments of a national identity that spans the globe. Armenia lies in the heart of the Caucasus and once had an empire – under the rule of Tigranes the Great in the first century BC – that stretched from the Caspian to the Mediterranean seas. Beginning with an overview of Armenia's historic position at the crossroads between Rome and Persia, Minassian details invasions from antiquity to modern times by Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans, Persians and Russians right up to its Soviet experience, and drawing on Armenia's post-Soviet conflict with Azerbaijan in its attempts to reunify with the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. This book questions an Armenian self-identity dominated by its past and instead looks towards the future. Gaïdz Minassian emphasises the need to recognise that the Armenian story began well before the Genocide 1915, and continues as an on-going modern narrative..

Social Science

Beyond WikiLeaks | B. Brevini,A. Hintz,P. McCurdy

Beyond WikiLeaks Pdf/ePub eBook Beyond WikiLeaks Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 1067 | Ebook Reads: 1067 | File: Beyond WikiLeaks.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 113727574X

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The 2010 release of US embassy diplomatic cables put WikiLeaks into the international spotlight. Revelations by the leaks sparked intense debate within international diplomacy, journalism and society. This book reflects on the implications of WikiLeaks across politics and media, and on the results of leak journalism and transparency activism..

Political Science

The Reactionary Mind | Corey Robin

The Reactionary Mind Pdf/ePub eBook The Reactionary Mind Pdf ebook download. Number Downloads: 1578 | Ebook Reads: 1578 | File: The Reactionary Mind.pdf/epub | ISBNCode: 0190692014

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The Reactionary Mind - Corey Robin Preview:

Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? In The Reactionary Mind, Robin traces conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution. He argues that the right was inspired, and is still united, by its hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market; others oppose it. Some criticize the state; others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality -- while simultaneously making populist appeals to the masses. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society -- one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention have been critical to their success. Written by a highly-regarded, keen observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump, and from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all right-wing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back. When its first edition appeared in 2011, The Reactionary Mind set off a fierce debate. It has since been acclaimed as "the book that predicted Trump" (New Yorker) and "one of the more influential political works of the last decade" (Washington Monthly). Now updated to include Trump's election and his first one hundred days in office, The Reactionary Mind is more relevant than ever..