Bookbeat

Book Beat: November 1997

Lewis Tappan and the Evangelical War Against Slavery

Lewis Tappan and the Evangelical War Against Slavery

(Louisiana State Press) by Bertram Wyatt-Brown , Department of History.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown not only gives us an excellent biography of an important figure but also the best insight we have on the combination of capitalism, evangelicalism, and abolitionism.

- Publisher

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to see abolitionism as a generally sensible though by no means unblemished attack on a national problem. Its leaders ought to be remembered not solely for their various imperfections but for their acuteness of moral perception as well. The Tappans and their friends were neither harpies of destruction nor merciful deliverers. They were much too puny, like all of us, for that. But they gave the country a higher conception of what American nationality was supposed to stand for than most of the statesmen of their day.

Mapping Islamic Studies: Genealogy, Continuity and Change Mapping Islamic Studies: Genealogy, Continuity and Change

edited by Azim Nanji, Department of Religion
(Mouton de Gruyter, 1997)
Available through Amazon

Excerpt

The subject of most of the essays in this book is an examination and a critical appreciation of this modern phase. They are intended as a contribution to the discussion of how the discipline of Islamic Studies, a branch of Oriental Studies, as it has come to be understood and practiced, evolved in its various historical contexts. They also seek to reflect upon the ironic effects, whereby "Orientalism" and "Islamic Studies," which emerged as European disciplines to study the "other" have themselves become texts and objects of study, as the "other".

The Modern Political Campaign: Mudslinging, Bombast, and the Vitality of American Politics The Modern Political Campaign: Mudslinging, Bombast, and the Vitality of American Politics

by Richard K. Scher, Department of Political Science
(M.E. Sharpe, 1997)
Available through Amazon

This short book takes a fresh look at the American style of campaign politics, past and present, warts and all, to argue that campaigns reflect both our popular culture and the place of politics in our national life. In the end, the purpose of campaigns is to draw voters' attention to a candidate or issue, even though politics is not of immediate interest to many or most citizens. That is what campaigns do and always have done in America-and there is no reason to think that a more cerebral approach to politics would be more effective.

- Publisher

Excerpt

...we are suspicious of those who want to engage in an enterprise-government, in this case-about which we have serious doubts. If we did not feel this way, why do we then feel so uncharitable about our candidates? Why else would we call them clowns, and worse? If we had more trust and confidence in the public enterprise, we probably would not belittle those who offer themselves to run it. Indeed, there would be less reason to find fault with those actually announcing for office.

Statistical Methods for Engineers Statistical Methods for Engineers

by G. Geoffrey Vining, Department of Statistics
(Duxbury Press, 1997)
Available through Amazon

Perhaps the most modern engineering statistics book on the market, Statistical Methods for Engineers departs significantly from the traditional model of engineering statistics. Whereas many books emphasize statistics with a minimal focus on engineering, Vining skillfully weaves statistics into engineering and focuses on the collection of real engineering data. The result: a truly modern approach.

- Publisher

Class Issues: Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, and the Public Sphere Class Issues: Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, and the Public Sphere

edited by Amitava Kumar, Department of English
(New York University Press, 1997)

Available through Amazon

Class Issues asserts a complex, interrelated agenda for radical teachers and students. Bringing together work on the public sphere, radical cultural studies pedagogy, and public intellectuals, leading scholars of literary and cultural studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, and working-class literature examine the challenges that confront progressive pedagogy, as well as the histories that lie behind the achievements of cultural studies. Class Issues offers a plan for the construction of an alternative public sphere in the rapidly changing space of the academic classroom.

- Publisher

Excerpt

As of 1993, ten thousand researched articles, collections, and books can be found on Madonna (and these just in English). Such numbers beckon various conclusions about the current status of Cultural Studies, its interest in popular, mass, and/or commercial culture, its ability to find political nuance in unlikely places, its hipness, and perhaps its inherent banality. Whatever conclusions one wants to draw on the spate of work inspired by the material girl, let it be said to begin with that Cultural Studies has arrived.

Werkheft LiteraturWerkheft Literatur

edited by Will Hasty, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, and Christa Merkes-Frei, Goethe-Institut, Atlanta
(Goethe-Institut, 1997)

This German language volume introduces the satires and poetry of two significant authors of Turkish descent, Sinasi Dikmen and Zehra Cirak, who are currently living and writing in Germany. The "Werkheft" grew out of a visit by these two authors to the Gainesville campus during the German Summer School of the Southeast in 1995. It contains an introduction to the social situation and the literature of ethnic minorities in Germany by Dr.Hasty, as well as lesson plans for the use of selected works by these authors in classes on German language and culture that were devised by the students of the Summer School (themselves teachers) under the supervision of Dr.Merkes-Frei.

- summary by Will Hasty

The Great Lobster WarThe Great Lobster War

by Ron Formisano, Department of History
(University of Massachusetts Press, 1997)
Available through Amazon

In the Lobster War, Ron Formisano offers a lucid description of the romance and reality of the Maine lobster industry, the strike, the trial and the aftermath of the controversy. He views the 'lobster war' as a classic American conflict between economic interest and independence and, ultimately, between cooperation and individualism.

- Publisher

Excerpt

The independence of lobster fishermen is real. They can indeed decide for themsleves whether to work on a given day; they spend seemingly infinite stretches of time on the water, working alone, or with one helper (a sternman—often now, two sternmen), locked into a rhythm of work that demands full attention. They plan their days around wind, tide, and weather, elements of nature that can be beneficent and bountiful but also unforgiving and punishing.

The Semantics of Aspect and ModalityThe Semantics of Aspect and Modality

by Galia Hatav, Department of African & Asian Literature and Languages
(John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1997)

Excerpt

The Tense-Aspect-Modal verb system of language has been given a great deal of attention in the literature. Traditional analyses of TAM usually regard the tense as having temporal nature, while aspect and modality are described as dealing with attitude, perspective and the like. This study aims to provide a general (semantic) theory for temporality, but it also systematically examines the verb system in Biblical-Hebrew which lacks tenses, as will be demonstrated, and thus enables us to see the nature of aspect and modality more clearly.

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