Newborn Imitation: The Stakes of a Controversy
Newborn imitation has recently become the focus of a major controversy in the human sciences. New studies have reexamined the evidence and found it wanting. Imitation has been regarded as a crucial capability of neonates ever since 1977, when two American psychologists first published experiments appearing to demonstrate that babies at birth are able to copy a variety of facial movements. The findings overturned decades of assumptions about the competence of newborns. But what if claims for newborn imitation are not true? Influential theories about the mechanisms underlying imitation, the role of mirror neurons, the nature of the self and of infant mental states, will all have to be modified or abandoned if it turns out that babies cannot imitate at birth. This Element offers a critical assessment of those theories and the stakes involved.
The Ninth Hour
On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove―to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife―“that the hours of his life belong to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun, a Little Sister of the Sick Poor, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.
In Catholic Brooklyn, in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence, and yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives―testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations. Rendered with remarkable lucidity and intelligence, Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.
Baltimore: A Political History
Charm City or Mobtown? People from Baltimore glory in its eccentric charm, small-town character, and North-cum-South culture. But for much of the nineteenth century, violence and disorder plagued the city. More recently, the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody has prompted Baltimoreans―and the entire nation―to focus critically on the rich and tangled narrative of black–white relations in Baltimore, where slavery once existed alongside the largest community of free blacks in the United States.
Matthew A. Crenson, a distinguished political scientist and Baltimore native, examines the role of politics and race throughout Baltimore’s history. From its founding in 1729 up through the recent past, Crenson follows Baltimore’s political evolution from an empty expanse of marsh and hills to a complicated city with distinct ways of doing business. Revealing how residents at large engage (and disengage) with one another across an expansive agenda of issues and conflicts, Crenson shows how politics helped form this complex city’s personality.
Crenson provocatively argues that Baltimore’s many quirks are likely symptoms of urban underdevelopment. The city’s longtime domination by the general assembly―and the corresponding weakness of its municipal authority―forced residents to adopt the private and extra-governmental institutions that shaped early Baltimore. On the one hand, Baltimore was resolutely parochial, split by curious political quarrels over issues as minor as loose pigs. On the other, it was keenly attuned to national politics: during the Revolution, for instance, Baltimoreans were known for their comparative radicalism. Crenson describes how, as Baltimore and the nation grew, whites competed with blacks, slave and free, for menial and low-skill work. He also explores how the urban elite thrived by avoiding, wherever possible, questions of slavery vs. freedom―just as, long after the Civil War and emancipation, wealthier Baltimoreans preferred to sidestep racial controversy.
Peering into the city’s 300-odd neighborhoods, this fascinating account holds up a mirror to Baltimore, asking whites in particular to re-examine the past and accept due responsibility for future racial progress.
The Ascent of Affect: Genealogy and Critique
In recent years, emotions have become a major, vibrant topic of research not merely in the biological and psychological sciences but throughout a wide swath of the humanities and social sciences as well. Yet, surprisingly, there is still no consensus on their basic nature or workings.
Ruth Leys’s brilliant, much anticipated history, therefore, is a story of controversy and disagreement. The Ascent of Affect focuses on the post–World War II period, when interest in emotions as an object of study began to revive. Leys analyzes the ongoing debate over how to understand emotions, paying particular attention to the continual conflict between camps that argue for the intentionality or meaning of emotions but have trouble explaining their presence in non-human animals and those that argue for the universality of emotions but struggle when the question turns to meaning. Addressing the work of key figures from across the spectrum, considering the potentially misleading appeal of neuroscience for those working in the humanities, and bringing her story fully up to date by taking in the latest debates, Leys presents here the most thorough analysis available of how we have tried to think about how we feel.
The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood
West Baltimore stands out in the popular imagination as the quintessential “inner city”—gritty, run-down, and marred by drugs and gang violence. Indeed, with the collapse of manufacturing jobs in the 1970s, the area experienced a rapid onset of poverty and high unemployment, with few public resources available to alleviate economic distress. But in stark contrast to the image of a perpetual “urban underclass” depicted in television by shows like The Wire, sociologists Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson present a more nuanced portrait of Baltimore’s inner city residents that employs important new research on the significance of early-life opportunities available to low-income populations. The Long Shadow focuses on children who grew up in west Baltimore neighborhoods and others like them throughout the city, tracing how their early lives in the inner city have affected their long-term well-being. Although research for this book was conducted in Baltimore, that city’s struggles with deindustrialization, white flight, and concentrated poverty were characteristic of most East Coast and Midwest manufacturing cities. The experience of Baltimore’s children who came of age during this era is mirrored in the experiences of urban children across the nation.
For 25 years, the authors of The Long Shadow tracked the life progress of a group of almost 800 predominantly low-income Baltimore school children through the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP). The study monitored the children’s transitions to young adulthood with special attention to how opportunities available to them as early as first grade shaped their socioeconomic status as adults. The authors’ fine-grained analysis confirms that the children who lived in more cohesive neighborhoods, had stronger families, and attended better schools tended to maintain a higher economic status later in life. As young adults, they held higher-income jobs and had achieved more personal milestones (such as marriage) than their lower-status counterparts. Differences in race and gender further stratified life opportunities for the Baltimore children. As one of the first studies to closely examine the outcomes of inner-city whites in addition to African Americans, data from the BSSYP shows that by adulthood, white men of lower status family background, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group in part due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy. Gender imbalances were also evident: the women, who were more likely to be working in low-wage service and clerical jobs, earned less than men. African American women were doubly disadvantaged insofar as they were less likely to be in a stable relationship than white women, and therefore less likely to benefit from a second income.
Combining original interviews with Baltimore families, teachers, and other community members with the empirical data gathered from the authors’ groundbreaking research, The Long Shadow unravels the complex connections between socioeconomic origins and socioeconomic destinations to reveal a startling and much-needed examination of who succeeds and why.
“A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author”
An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion—lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone, Alice McDermott’s extraordinary return, seven years after the publication of After This. Scattered recollections—of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age—come together in this transformative narrative, stitched into a vibrant whole by McDermott’s deft, lyrical voice.
Our first glimpse of Marie is as a child: a girl in glasses waiting on a Brooklyn stoop for her beloved father to come home from work. A seemingly innocuous encounter with a young woman named Pegeen sets the bittersweet tone of this remarkable novel. Pegeen describes herself as an “amadan,” a fool; indeed, soon after her chat with Marie, Pegeen tumbles down her own basement stairs. The magic of McDermott’s novel lies in how it reveals us all as fools for this or that, in one way or another.
Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn—McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight. This is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived; a crowning achievement by one of the finest American writers at work today.
- A Publishers Weekly Best Fiction Book of the Year
- A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013
- A New York Times Notable Book of 2013
- A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2013
- An NPR Best Book of 2013
Practical Authority: Agency and Institutional Change in Brazilian Water Politics
How do institutional arrangements established by law become operational in practice? It takes work for them to develop problem-solving capabilities and win recognition from others-what the authors call “practical authority.”
Drawing from a decade-long, multi-site study of efforts to transform freshwater management in Brazil, the authors show how an assortment of protagonists-from state officials to university professors to activists-struggled to breathe life into new institutional designs. Their account weaves together three decades of national and state law-making with experimentation in establishing new kinds of participatory water management organizations. Exploring this process in sixteen river basins, the authors examine why some of those organizations adapted creatively to challenges while others never got off the ground. To approach this complex, volatile, and non-linear process of transformation, the book develops a framework for investigating the actions and practices of institution-building.
The Creative Society – and the Price Americans Paid for It
The Creative Society is the first history to look at modern America through the eyes of its emerging ranks of professional experts, including lawyers, scientists, doctors, administrators, business managers, teachers, policy specialists, and urban planners. Covering the period from the 1890s to the early 21st century, Louis Galambos examines the history that shaped professionals and, in turn, their role in shaping modern America. He considers the roles of education, anti-Semitism, racism, and elitism in shaping and defining the professional cadre and examines how matters of gender, race, and ethnicity determined whether women, African Americans, and immigrants from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East were admitted to the professional ranks. He also discusses the role professionals played in urbanizing the United States, keeping the economy efficient and innovative, showing the government how to provide the people a greater measure of security and equity, and guiding the world’s leading industrial power in coping with its complex, frequently dangerous foreign relations.
Blind Obedience: Paradox and Learning in the Later Wittgenstein
There is considerable debate amongst philosophers as to the basic philosophical problem Wittgenstein is attempting to solve in Philosophical Investigations. In this bold and original work, Meredith Williams argues that it is the problem of “normative similarity.”
In Blind Obedience Williams demonstrates how Wittgenstein criticizes traditional, representationalist theories of language by employing the ‘master/novice’ distinction of the learner, arguing that this distinction is often overlooked but fundamental to understanding philosophical problems about mind and language.
The book not only provides revealing discussions of Wittgenstein’s corpus but also intricate analyses of the work of Brandom, Dummett, Frege, Sellars, Davidson, Cavell and others. These are usefully compared in a bid to better situate Wittgenstein’s non-intellectualist, non-theoretical approach and to highlight is unique features.
Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens
This exhibition catalogue, divided into three main sections, is an essential collection of images and descriptions of each of the 155 artifacts of the exhibition, containing also scrutinizing essays on the important role women played in Classical Athens. The first section, “Goddesses and Heroines”, introduces the principal female deities of Athens and Attica, in whose cults and festivals women were most actively engaged: Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Demeter and her daughter Persephone. The second section, “Women and Ritual,” explores the practice of ritual acts such as dances, libations, sacrifices, processions and festivals in which women were active in classical antiquity. Here the critical role of the priestess comes to light, specifically in her function as key-bearer for the temples of the gods. The final section, “Women and the Cycle of Life,” looks at how religious rituals defined moments of transition. This section focuses on nuptial rites and wedding banquets but also death, another occasion on which Athenian women took on major responsibilities, such as preparing the deceased for burial and tending the graves of family members. Contributors include, in addition to the editors, Professor Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College; Professor Olga Palagia of the University of Athens; Dr. Angelos Delivorrias, director of the Benaki Museum; Professor Michalis Tiverios of the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki; Professor Joan Breton Connelly of New York University; Professor Jenifer Neils of Case Western Reserve University; and Professor John Oakley of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, among others.
On a wild, windy April day in Manhattan, when Mary first meets John Keane, she cannot know what lies ahead of her. A marriage, a fleeting season of romance, and the birth of four children will bring John and Mary to rest in the safe embrace of a traditional Catholic life in the suburbs. But neither Mary nor John, distracted by memories and longings, can feel the wind that is buffeting their children, leading them in directions beyond their parents’ control. Michael and his sister Annie are caught up in the sexual revolution. Jacob, brooding and frail, is drafted to Vietnam. And the youngest, Clare, commits a stunning transgression after a childhood spent pleasing her parents. As John and Mary struggle to hold on to their family and their faith, Alice McDermott weaves an elegant, unforgettable portrait of a world in flux–and of the secrets and sorrows, anger and love, that lie at the heart of every family.
Presidential Power: Unchecked & Unbalanced
Recent presidents have exploited the power of the American presidency more fully than their predecessors—and with greater consequence than the framers of the Constitution anticipated.
This book, in the tradition of Arthur Schlesinger’s great work The Imperial Presidency (1973), explores how American presidents—especially those of the past three decades—have increased the power of the presidency at the expense of democracy. Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg provide a fascinating history of this trend, showing that the expansion of presidential power dates back over one hundred years. Presidential Power also looks beyond the president’s actions in the realm of foreign policy to consider other, more hidden, means that presidents have used to institutionalize the power of the executive branch.
From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After
Why has shame recently displaced guilt as a dominant emotional reference in the West? After the Holocaust, survivors often reported feeling guilty for living when so many others had died, and in the 1960s psychoanalysts and psychiatrists in the United States helped make survivor guilt a defining feature of the “survivor syndrome.” Yet the idea of survivor guilt has always caused trouble, largely because it appears to imply that, by unconsciously identifying with the perpetrator, victims psychically collude with power.
In From Guilt to Shame, Ruth Leys has written the first genealogical-critical study of the vicissitudes of the concept of survivor guilt and the momentous but largely unrecognized significance of guilt’s replacement by shame. Ultimately, Leys challenges the theoretical and empirical validity of the shame theory proposed by figures such as Silvan Tomkins, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Giorgio Agamben, demonstrating that while the notion of survivor guilt has depended on an intentionalist framework, shame theorists share a problematic commitment to interpreting the emotions, including shame, in antiintentionalist and materialist terms.
The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece
The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece provides a wide-ranging synthesis of history, society, and culture during the formative period of Ancient Greece, from the Age of Homer in the late eighth century to the Persian Wars of 490–480 B.C. In 10 clearly written and succinct chapters, leading scholars from around the English-speaking world treat all aspects of the civilization of Archaic Greece, from social, political, and military history to early achievements in poetry, philosophy, and the visual arts. Archaic Greece was an age of experimentation and intellectual ferment that laid the foundations for much of Western thought and culture. Individual Greek city-states rose to great power and wealth, and after a long period of isolation, many cities sent out colonies that spread Hellenism to all corners of the Mediterranean world. This Companion offers a vivid and fully documented account of this critical stage in the history of the West.
Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society
Greening Brazil challenges the claim that environmentalism came to Brazil from abroad. Two political scientists, Kathryn Hochstetler and Margaret E. Keck, retell the story of environmentalism in Brazil from the inside out, analyzing the extensive efforts within the country to save its natural environment, and the interplay of those efforts with transnational environmentalism. The authors trace Brazil’s complex environmental politics as they have unfolded over time, from their mid-twentieth-century conservationist beginnings to the contemporary development of a distinctive socio-environmentalism meant to address ecological destruction and social injustice simultaneously. Hochstetler and Keck argue that explanations of Brazilian environmentalism—and environmentalism in the global South generally—must take into account the way that domestic political processes shape environmental reform efforts.
The authors present a multilevel analysis encompassing institutions and individuals within the government—at national, state, and local levels—as well as the activists, interest groups, and nongovernmental organizations that operate outside formal political channels. They emphasize the importance of networks linking committed actors in the government bureaucracy with activists in civil society. Portraying a gradual process marked by periods of rapid advance, Hochstetler and Keck show how political opportunities have arisen from major political transformations such as the transition to democracy and from critical events, including the well-publicized murders of environmental activists in 1988 and 2004. Rather than view foreign governments and organizations as the instigators of environmental policy change in Brazil, the authors point to their importance at key moments as sources of leverage and support.
Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public
In Downsizing Democracy, Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg describe how the once powerful idea of a collective citizenry has given way to a concept of personal, autonomous democracy. Today, political change is effected through litigation, lobbying, and term limits, rather than active participation in the political process, resulting in narrow special interest groups dominating state and federal decision-making. At a time when an American’s investment in the democratic process has largely been reduced to an annual contribution to a political party or organization, Downsizing Democracy offers a critical reassessment of American democracy.
Child of My Heart
In Alice McDermott’s first work of fiction since her best-selling, National Book Award-winning Charming Billy, a woman recalls her 15th summer with the wry and bittersweet wisdom of hindsight.
The beautiful child of older parents, raised on the eastern end of Long Island, Theresa is her town’s most sought-after babysitter—cheerful, poised, an effortless storyteller, a wonder with children and animals. Among her charges this fateful summer is Daisy, her younger cousin, who has come to spend a few quiet weeks in this bucolic place. While Theresa copes with the challenge presented by the neighborhood’s waiflike children, the tumultuous households of her employers, the attentions of an aging painter, and Daisy’s fragility of body and spirit, her precocious, tongue-in-cheek sense of order is tested as she makes the perilous crossing into adulthood. In her deeply etched rendering of all that happened that seemingly idyllic season, McDermott once again peers into the depths of everyday life with inimitable insight and grace.
On the Success of Failure: A Reassessment of the Effects of Retention in the Primary School Grades
On the Success of Failure is about the practice of grade retention in elementary schools, a particularly vexing problem in urban school systems. The book describes the school context of retention and evaluates its consequences by tracking the experiences of a large, representative sample of Baltimore school children from first grade through high school. It addresses the complex question of whether or not a repeating a grade is helpful or harmful when children are not keeping up.
Menzel’s Realism: Art and Embodiment in Nineteenth-Century Berlin
- 2002 , Yale University Press
- Michael Fried, author
Adolf Menzel was one of the most important German artists of the 19th century, yet he is scarcely known outside his native land. In this study a leading art historian argues that Menzel deserves to be recognized not only as one of the greatest painters and draftsmen of his century but also as a master realist whose work engages profoundly with an extraordinary range of issues – artistic, scientific, philosophical and socio-political. Michael Fried explores Menzel’s large and fascinating oeuvre, and in so doing seeks to make the artist’s achievement accessible to a wide audience. Fried compares Menzel’s art with that of the 19th-century’s two other great realist painters, Courbet and Eakins. Analyzing paintings, drawings and prints from all stages of Menzel’s long career, he asserts that the distinctive quality of Menzel’s realism is found in his concern with evoking the multi-sensory, fully-embodied relationships of persons with the universe of physical objects, tools and situations. Fried establishes connections between Menzel’s work and a broad array of extra-artistic contexts, among them the writings of the empathy theorists, Kierkegaard on reflection and the everyday, Helmholtz on vision, Fontane’s “Effi Briest”, Duranty’s art criticism, Simmel on modern urban life, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “art of seeing”, and Benjamin on traces. He also explores the complex relationship between Menzel’s version of “extreme” realism and the exactly contemporary technology of photography. The resulting work establishes Menzel as a key artist of modernity.
An introduction to the goals and methods of textual criticism of the Bible, intended to give students of Hebrew the necessary tools to study the text. The principles of textual criticism are explained in terms of both their usefulness and their limitations, and are illustrated with examples from the Bible.
Trauma: A Genealogy
Psychic trauma is one of the most frequently invoked ideas in the behavioral sciences and the humanities today. Yet bitter disputes have marked the discussion of trauma ever since it first became an issue in the 1870s, growing even more heated in recent years following official recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In a book that is bound to ignite controversy, Ruth Leys investigates the history of the concept of trauma. She explores the emergence of multiple personality disorder, Freud’s approaches to trauma, medical responses to shellshock and combat fatigue, Sándor Ferenczi’s revisions of psychoanalysis, and the mutually reinforcing, often problematic work of certain contemporary neurobiological and postmodernist theorists. Leys argues that the concept of trauma has always been fundamentally unstable, oscillating uncontrollably between two competing models, each of which tends at its limit to collapse into the other.
A powerfully argued work of intellectual history, Trauma will rewrite the terms of future discussion of its subject.
Congress and the Decline of Public Trust
Since the time of Watergate and Vietnam, trust in government has fallen precipitously. This can easily be sensed in the apathy and divisiveness that now characterize American politics, but it is perhaps most clearly revealed in poll data. The great majority of Americans do not trust the government “to do what’s right all or most of the time”. Nor do they believe that government is run for “the benefit of all” rather than for “a few big interests”. The nine essays in this volume detail the present character of distrust, analyze its causes, assess the dangers it poses for the future of representative government in the United States, and suggest remedies.The focus of the analysis is on Congress because of its pivotal role in representative government in the United States. The authors also examine patterns of trust in societal institutions and trust in the Presidency, especially in light of the Clinton impeachment controversy. Because the causes and effects of distrust are complex and pervasive, the individual chapters highlight many of the defining features and issues of contemporary American politics. These include the emergence of a politics that is far more ideological, candidate centered, and captive to interest groups, the changing character and enhanced importance of the media, the mounting costs of campaigns, the contradictions in public attitudes toward political leaders and processes, the causes and consequences of public misconceptions of democratic politics, and the need for reform in campaign finance, media practices, and civic education.
Wittgenstein, Mind and Meaning: Towards a Social Conception of Mind
Wittgenstein, Mind and Meaning offers a provocative re-reading of Wittgenstein’s later writings on language and mind, and explores the tensions between Wittgenstein’s ideas and contemporary cognitivist conceptions of the mental. This book addresses both Wittgenstein’s later works as well as contemporary issues in philosophy of mind. It provides fresh insight into the later Wittgenstein and raises vital questions about the foundations of cognitivism and its wider implications for psychology and cognitive science.
Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics
In Activists beyond Borders, Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink examine a type of pressure group that has been largely ignored by political analysts: networks of activists that coalesce and operate across national frontiers. Their targets may be international organizations or the policies of particular states. Historical examples of such transborder alliances include anti-slavery and woman suffrage campaigns. In the past two decades, transnational activism has had a significant impact in human rights, especially in Latin America, and advocacy networks have strongly influenced environmental politics as well. The authors also examine the emergence of an international campaign around violence against women.
Networks of Innovation: Vaccine Development at Merck, Sharp and Dohme, and Mulford, 1895-1995
Networks of Innovation offers a historical perspective on the manner in which private sector organizations have acquired, sustained, and periodically lost the ability to develop, manufacture, and market new serum antitoxins and vaccines. The primary focus is on the H. K. Mulford Company, on Sharp & Dohme, which acquired Mulford in 1929, and on Merck & Co., Inc., which merged with Sharp & Dohme in 1953. By surveying a century of innovation in biologicals, the authors show how the activities of these three commercial enterprises were related to a series of complex, evolving networks of scientific, governmental, and medical institutions in the United States and abroad.
The Workers’ Party and Democratization in Brazil
In this groundbreaking study of the Workers’ Party—the first legal mass party on the left in Brazil’s recent history—Margaret E. Keck sheds new light on significant changes in Brazilian political organization and society over the past two decades. Her book not only clarifies political movements in Brazil and Latin America but also gives insights into attempts in any country to create democratic parties that represent the popular classes.
At Weddings and Wakes
Lucy Dailey leaves suburbia twice a week with her three children in tow, returning to the Brooklyn home where she grew up, and where her stepmother and unmarried sisters still live. The children quietly observe Aunt Veronica, who drowns her sorrows in drink. Aunt Agnes, a caustic career woman, and finally Aunt May, the ex-nun, blossoming with a late and unexpected love, dutifully absorbing the legacy of their less-than-perfect family.
Alice McDermott beautifully evokes three generations of an Irish-American family in this “haunting and masterly work of literary art” (The Wall Street Journal).
Defining American Psychology: The Correspondence between Adolf Meyer and Edward Bradford Titchener
In 1909 and again in 1918, Meyer, America’s foremost psychiatrist, and Titchener, America’s leading psychologist, exchanged a series of letters. Never before published, their correspondence represents a sustained attempt to define psychology as a science and to determine its place among the other cognitive disciplines of the age. Annotated, with important introductory essays by Ruth Leys and Rand B. Evans. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
The Dead Sea Scrolls After Forty Years
Four lectures presented at a symposium sponsored by the Resident Associate Program, Smithsonian Institution on October 27, 1990. Speakers, and lecture titles, include: Hershel Shanks: “The Excitement Lasts: An Overview” ~ James C. Vanderkam: “Implications for the History of Judaism and Christianity” ~ P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.: “The Mystery of the Copper Scroll” ~ James A. Sanders: “Understanding the Development of the Biblical Text.” An 11-page Panel Discussion follows the lectures.
It is high summer, the early 1960s. Sheryl and Rick, two Long Island teenagers, share an intense, all-consuming love. But Sheryl’s widowed mother steps between them, and one moonlit night Rick and a gang of hoodlums descend upon her quiet neighborhood. That night, driven by Rick’s determination to reclaim Sheryl, the young men provoke a violent confrontation, and as fathers step forward to protect their turf, notions of innocence belonging to both sides of the brawl are fractured forever. Alice McDermott’s That Night is “a moving and captivating novel, both celebration and elegy…a rare and memorable work” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer).
A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award
Property and Kinship: Inheritance in Early Connecticut, 1750-1820
Toby Ditz explores the relationship among inheritance, kinship, and the commercialization of agriculture. Comparing four upland communities with a Connecticut River Valley town, she finds that inheritance practices in the late colonial era heavily favored some male heirs and created shared rights in property. These customs continued into the early nineteenth century in the upland, but in the commercialized river-valley town practices became more egalitarian and individualized.
II Samuel completes P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.’s study of the book of Samuel. Based upon the introduction and commentary of his first volume, McCarter continues the discussion of textual and literary sources as they relate to a reconstruction of historical events.
A key issue for McCarter is accounting for the historical circumstances that led to the composition of the book of Samuel. In dialogue with major schools of thought pertaining to the origin and transmission of the book, the author offers his scholarly opinions on its composition. McCarter presents a unique new translation based upon the latest and most extensive textual sources available, including scrolls and fragments from Qumran. Furthermore, he resolves the complicated textual history of Samuel.
A Bigamist’s Daughter
Elizabeth Connelly, editor at a New York vanity press, sells the dream of publication (admittedly, to writers of questionable talent). Stories of true emotional depth rarely cross her desk. But when a young writer named Tupper Daniels walks in, bearing an unfinished novel, Elizabeth is drawn to both the novelist and his story—a lyrical tale about a man in love with more than one woman at once. Tupper’s manuscript unlocks memories of her own secretive father, who himself may have been a bigamist. As Elizabeth and Tupper search for the perfect dénouement, their affair, too, approaches a most unexpected and poignant coda.
A brilliant debut from one of our most celebrated authors, A Bigamist’s Daughter is “a wise, sad, witty novel about men and women, God, hope, love, illusion, and fiction itself” (Newsweek).