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American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Kai Bird
0375726268
April 2006
Paperback
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Book Review
In American Prometheus, Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin delve deep into J. Robert Oppenheimer's life and deliver a thorough and devastatingly sad biography of the man whose very name has come to represent the culmination of 20th century physics and the irrevocable soiling of science by governments eager to exploit its products. Rich in historical detail and personal narratives, the book paints a picture of Oppenheimer as both a controlling force and victim of the mechanisms of power.

By the time the story reaches Oppenheimer's fateful Manhattan Project work, readers have been swept along much as the project's young physicists were by fate and enormous pressure. The authors allow the scientists to speak for themselves about their reactions to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, avoiding any sort of preacherly tone...



Why Study the Past
Rowan Williams
0802829902
July 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
The well-worn saying about being condemned to repeat the history we do not know applies to church history as much as to any other kind. But how are Christians supposed to discern what lessons from history need to be learned? In this small but thoughtful volume, respected theologian and churchman Rowan Williams opens up a theological approach to history, an approach that is both nonpartisan and relevant to the church’s present needs. As he reflects on how we consider the past in general, Williams suggests that how we consider church history in particular remains important not so much for winning arguments as for clarifying who we are as time-bound human beings. Good history is a moral affair, he advises, because it opens up a point of reference that is distinct from us yet not wholly alien. The past can then...


Team of Rivals : The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin
0684824906
October 25, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
The life and times of Abraham Lincoln have been analyzed and dissected in countless books. Do we need another Lincoln biography? In Team of Rivals, esteemed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin proves that we do. Though she can't help but cover some familiar territory, her perspective is focused enough to offer fresh insights into Lincoln's leadership style and his deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln's political genius by examining his relationships with three men he selected for his cabinet, all of whom were opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. These men, all accomplished, nationally known, and presidential, originally disdained Lincoln for his backwoods upbringing and lack of experience, and were shocked and humiliated at...


Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Jared Diamond
0143036556
December 27, 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the glass-half-empty follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns, Germs, and Steel explained the geographic and environmental reasons why some human populations have flourished, Collapse uses the same factors to examine why ancient societies, including the Anasazi of the American Southwest and the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Not every collapse has an environmental origin, but an eco-meltdown is often the main catalyst, he argues, particularly when combined with society's response to (or disregard for) the coming disaster. Still, right from the outset of Collapse, the author makes clear that this is not a mere environmentalist's diatribe. He begins by setting the...


Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend
Bart Ehrman
0195300130
April 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. There is a bit of irony in the subtitle of this terrific book. Ehrman, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC–Chapel Hill and author of several well-received volumes including Lost Scriptures and Lost Christianities, struggles with the very issue of how to separate history from legend, whether it can be done at all and whether it matters. He contends "it is often easier to know how the past was remembered than to decide what actually happened." By shifting focus from the tales to the tellers, Ehrman enters the ongoing discussion of biblical literalism and reliability, insisting that we're not arriving at satisfactory answers because we're not asking the right questions. Drawing widely from history, scripture and extra-biblical writings, he studies the many stories of the...


Slave Patrols
Sally E. Hadden
0674012348
Oct 2003
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Using a variety of sources, Hadden (history, Florida State Univ.) thoroughly analyzes the public regulation of slavery in Virginia and the Carolinas, focusing on slave patrols between 1700 and 1865. Adding new details, the author's in-depth analysis provides an understanding of the daily enforcement of slave laws and an awareness of how Southern police forces were influenced by slavery and white dominance. The book is thematically organized, with chapters addressing topics that range from the formation of the original patrol groups, responses during crises like slave revolts, and the impact of the Civil War on patrols. She concludes that after the Civil War, the oppressive and brutal roles of the slave patrols were absorbed by other Southern institutions, such as police forces and the Ku Klux Klan. Hadden employs...


Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Harriet A. Jacobs
1593082835
April 2005
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Published in 1861, this was one of the first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few written by a woman. Jacobs (1813-97) was a slave in North Carolina and suffered terribly, along with her family, at the hands of a ruthless owner. She made several failed attempts to escape before successfully making her way North, though it took years of hiding and slow progress. Eventually, she was reunited with her children. For all biography and history collections.Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister
"Slavery is terrible for men, but it is far more terrible for women," Harriet Jacobs wrote in 1861. At that time she was an escaped slave living in...


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan : A Novel
Lisa See
0812968069
February 21, 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. See's engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends (laotong, or "old sames") Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily's voice, See (Flower Net) adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women's ceremonies and duties in China's rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women's inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters' foot binding ("Only through pain will you have beauty. Only...


Job the Silent
Bruce Zuckerman
0195058968
Jan 1991
Hardcover
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Book Description
Offering an original reading of the book of Job, one of the great literary classics of biblical literature, this book develops a new analogical method for understanding how biblical texts evolve in the process of transmission. Zuckerman argues that the book of Job was intended as a parody
protesting the stereotype of the traditional righteous sufferer as patient and silent. He compares the book of Job and its fate to that of a famous Yiddish short story, "Bontsye Shvayg," another covert parody whose protagonist has come to be revered as a paradigm of innocent Jewish suffering.
Zuckerman uses the story to prove how a literary text becomes separated from the intention of its author, and takes on quite a different meaning for a specific community of readers.


Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593083246
October 2004
Hardcover
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Job the Silent
Bruce Zuckerman
0195121279
Jan 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
Offering an original reading of the book of Job, one of the great literary classics of biblical literature, this book develops a new analogical method for understanding how biblical texts evolve in the process of transmission. Zuckerman argues that the book of Job was intended as a parody
protesting the stereotype of the traditional righteous sufferer as patient and silent. He compares the book of Job and its fate to that of a famous Yiddish short story, "Bontsye Shvayg," another covert parody whose protagonist has come to be revered as a paradigm of innocent Jewish suffering.
Zuckerman uses the story to prove how a literary text becomes separated from the intention of its author, and takes on quite a different meaning for a specific community of readers.


Show Way (Newbery Honor Book)
Jacqueline Woodson, Hudson Talbott (Illustrator)
0399237496
September 8, 2005
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 5–Soonie's great-grandma was only seven when she was sold away from her parents in Virginia and sent to South Carolina. All she had was a piece of muslin from her mother, two needles, and bright red thread. She was raised by Big Mama, who cared for the plantation children and at night whispered stories of freedom. Big Mama taught great-grandma how to sew messages and directions into quilt patterns, a Show Way. The quilt-making tradition is passed down through successive generations of women in the family. Finally, readers meet the narrator, who grew up to become a writer and tell the stories of many people's Show Ways. A poignant trail at the end of the book shows eight generations of women and the author's baby painted against the background of quilt patterns. Show...


Tertullian
Timothy D. Barnes
0198143621
Aug 1985
Hardcover
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Book Description
Tertullian lived and wrote in Roman Carthage during the reigns of Septimus Severus (193-211) and his son Caracalla (211-217). His voluminous tracts and pamphlets reveal the atmosphere of early Christianity in an era of persecution. The author sets Tertullian's writings within a chronological
and historical framework, then uses them to interpret Tertullian's intellectial development, his reaction to the society in which he lived, and his place in Latin literature.


Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien
0767902890
December 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to."

A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitive line of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato, and this sly, almost hallucinatory book that is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories but rather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in...



A Quest in the Middle East : Gertrude Bell and the Making of Modern Iraq
Liora Lukitz
1850434158
March 3, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Revered or reviled, Gertrude Bell was a commanding figure: scholar, linguist, archaeologist, traveler and "Orientalist". Belonging to the tradition of the great British Middle East enthusiasts of the early twentieth century, she explored the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I and was (alongside T.E. Lawrence) hugely instrumental in the post-war reconfiguration of the Arab states in the Middle East. Using previously unseen sources, including Gertrude Bell's own diaries and letters, Liora Lukitz provides a deeper political and personal biography of this influential character and the tragedy, vulnerability and frustration that were key to her quest both for a British-dominated Middle East and relief from her troubled romantic life.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Mark Twain
1593080689
January 2004
Mass Market Paperback
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Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code : A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine
Bart D. Ehrman
0195307135
March 31, 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Ehrman, chair of religious studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, has written widely on the subject of early Christian documents and the formation of the biblical canon. While acknowledging that Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is an exciting mystery novel, Ehrman questions some of its historical claims. Focusing on 10 areas of concern, including the role Constantine played in the formation of the both the church and the Bible and the evidence for Jesus' personal involvement with Mary Magdalene, Ehrman reviews the historical record and demonstrates that Brown's history behind the mystery is seriously flawed. Ehrman is not concerned with theology; he has no interest beyond that of the professional historian who wants to arm the everyday reader with sound research and helpful historical perspective. His is a documentary...


Ovid and the Fasti
Geraldine Herbert-Brown
0198149352
Mar 1994
Hardcover
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Book Description
Ovid's Fasti has remained curiously neglected as an historical source for the period in which it was written. This new study reveals that the poem of some five thousand lines on the Roman calendar, written and revised in the years between A.D. 4-16, provides students of the Augustan age with a
wealth of information, both about the author himself, and about his cultural and political environment. In addition to revelations about the way in which Augustus and his family were incorporated into the ancient religion of the city of Rome, and details of the last decade of Augustus' life and the
first years of Tiberius' rule, Herbert-Brown finds in the poem new evidence of the processes which marked the transition from the Republic to Empire.


Emma (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593083343
November 2004
Hardcover
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Empires of the Atlantic World : Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830
John H. Elliott
0300114311
May 8, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a masterful account, Oxford don Elliott explores the simultaneous development of Spanish and English colonies in the so-called New World. Though colonists tried to recreate traditional institutions on American soil, there were inevitable differences between colonial life and life in the mother countries: familial roles, for example, were reconfigured across the ocean. In addition to differing from Europe, Spanish and British settlements differed from one another, says Elliott. Whereas Spain determined to prevent Jews and Moors from entering its territories, Britain's grudging acceptance of religious diversity was evidenced in the Crown's allowing, and in some cases encouraging, persecuted minorities to join colonial ventures. The English colonies' fractious Protestantism made Spain's...


The English Hymn
J. R. Watson
019827002X
Aug 1999
Paperback
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Book Description
Why do people sing hymns? Are hymns poetry? What makes a good hymn? The author discusses the nature of hymns and their particular appeal, examines the English hymn as a literary form, and systematically describes its development through four centuries, from the Reformation to the mid-twentieth
century.


Founding Mothers : The Women Who Raised Our Nation
Cokie Roberts
006009026X
February 15, 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
ABC News political commentator and NPR news analyst Roberts didn't intend this as a general history of women's lives in early America-she just wanted to collect some great "stories of the women who influenced the Founding Fathers." For while we know the names of at least some of these women (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Eliza Pinckney), we know little about their roles in the Revolutionary War, the writing of the Constitution, or the politics of our early republic. In rough chronological order, Roberts introduces a variety of women, mostly wives, sisters or mothers of key men, exploring how they used their wit, wealth or connections to influence the men who made policy. As high-profile players married into each other's families, as wives died in childbirth and husbands remarried, it seems as if early...


Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593082010
June 2004
Paperback
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Christology
Gerald O'Collins, S.J.
0198755023
July 1995
Paperback
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Book Description
Recent years have seen the publication of a number of sensationalist books on Jesus that are supported neither by the New Testament witness nor by mainstream Christian beliefs. This important new book critically examines the best biblical and historical scholarship before tackling some of the
key questions of systematic christology: How could Jesus be fully a man and yet truly divine? How could he be sinless and yet exercise free human will? How can his role as universal savior be reconciled with other religions? Can his maleness be reconciled by the just demands of feminism? Clear,
balanced, and accessible, this book offers an invaluable interpretation of these and other controversial issues for students, general readers, and clergy.


Shakespeare, Co-Author
Brian Vickers
0199269165
Mar 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
This major new study asks the question, "how much do we know about Shakespeare's collaborations with other dramatists?", and sets out to provide a detailed evaluation of the claims made for Shakespeare's co-authorship of Titus Andronicus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, Henry VIII, and The Two
Noble Kinsmen. Through an examination of the processes of collaboration and the methods used in authorship studies since the early nineteenth century, Brian Vickers identifies a coherent tradition in attribution work on Shakespeare.


Historical Atlas of South-East Asia (Handbook of Oriental Studies. South-East Asia)
Jan M. Pluvier
9004102388
October 1995
Hardcover
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Book Description
This book deals with the historical development of South-East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines) from the earliest times to the present. In the first section a chronological survey in succinct form of the history of the area is presented so as to provide the reader with the background information necessary to make adequate use of the second section. That part of the book can be used on its own, portraying the history of South-East Asia in 64 pages of maps which cover such items as the formation of states and empires, the migration of peoples, trade routes, cultural and economic aspects, the rise and decline of colonialism and the political development of the post-colonial era. All maps are coloured. The text part places each map in its...


Catholic Study Bible: New American Bible (NAB)
Manufactured by Oxford University Press
0195282779
July 2002
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Several years ago, the New American Bible was issued as the official Roman Catholic text for public reading. Based on the original languages, it included introductions and notes from a Roman Catholic perspective. Edited by ecumenically recognized Roman Catholic scholars, but deliberately reflecting Roman Catholic teaching, the present volume includes the complete text of the New American Bible, along with updated essays on the Bible generally and guides to individual books. Each of these guides gives the historical background to the book as well as a bibliography for further reading; for the longer books, a section-by-section commentary is offered, often including a discussion of its current, and Christian, relevance.-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This...


Mansfield Park (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Jane Austen
1593083564
August 2005
Hardcover
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The Survivor : Bill Clinton in the White House
John F. Harris
0375508473
May 31, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
The Survivor is the rare book with positive recommendations from both liberal historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Brit Hume of the Fox News Channel. The author, John F. Harris--who covered the Clinton presidency as a political reporter at The Washington Post for six years--finds the perfect balance for his subject, writing with point-blank frankness about Clinton's impressive strengths and many weaknesses and painting an utterly fair portrait of one of the most charismatic and enigmatic political figures of the last 50 years. Harris at times is harsher to Clinton than many of the president's critics were and at other times, as in the case of his impeachment, is far kinder. He occasionally editorializes on the motivations of the Clintons, that ultimate power couple: why their marriage was not (despite public opinion) a...


Oral Tradition
Jan Vansina
0202308197
Feb 2006
Paperback
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