Published this week

September 4, 2008

(?) = Review forthcoming


- (?)Patronizing the Arts

By Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan Jr professor of English and of visual and environmental studies, Harvard University. Princeton University Press, £14.95. ISBN 9780691124803

Garber looks at the history of patronage, explains how patronage has elevated and damaged the arts in modern culture, and argues for the university to assume the role of patron of the arts.



By Sander Gilman, distinguished professor of the liberal arts and sciences, Emory University. Polity, £50.00 and £14.99. ISBN 9780745644400 and 4417

This book looks at the interweaving of fact and fiction relating to obesity, tracing public concern from the mid-19th century to the modern day. Written as a cultural history, it is concerned with the cultural meanings that have been attached to obesity over time and explores the implications of these meanings for society.


Nineteenth-Century Europe

By Hannu Salmi, professor of cultural history, University of Turku. Polity, £50.00 and £14.99. ISBN 9780745643595 and 3601

This book offers a fresh look at European culture between the Great Revolution in France and the First World War. It encompasses all major themes of the period and aims to appeal to both history students and a general audience.

The Extreme Right in Interwar France: The Faisceau and the Croix de Feu

By Samuel Kalman, professor of history, St Francis Xavier University. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754662402

This book offers an interpretation of the extreme Right in interwar French politics, focusing upon the largest and most influential such groups in 1920s and 1930s, the Faisceau and the Croix de Feu.

Witchcraft and Gender in Early Modern Society: Finland and the Wider European Experience

By Raisa Maria Toivo, research fellow at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Tampere. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754664543

Toivo explores the gender implications of the complex system of household management and public representation in which 17th-century Finnish women and men negotiated their positions.


Seeing Suffering in Women's Literature of the Romantic Era

By Elizabeth A. Dolan, associate professor of English, Lehigh University. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754654919

Dolan engages with a wide range of primary sources in science and medicine, exploring tropes of illness, healing and social justice in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith and Mary Shelley.

Understanding Genre and Medieval Romance

By K.S. Whetter, associate professor of English, Acadia University. Ashgate, £50.00. ISBN 9780754661429

Combining a comprehensive and comparative study of genre with a study of romance, this book contributes to critical debates over the definition of romance and the genre and artistry of Malory's Morte D'Arthur.


Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press

By Michael Schudson, professor of communication and adjunct professor of sociology, University of California, San Diego. Polity, £55.00 and £16.99. ISBN 9780745644523 and 4530

Informed by an understanding of journalism's history, this work collects the best of Schudson's recent writings, including several pieces published for the first time.


Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles: It Was Forty Years Ago Today

Edited by Olivier Julien, lecturer in the history and musicology of popular music, universities of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and Paris-Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III). Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 9780754662495

This book, with contributors from around the world renowned for their work on the Beatles, commemorates the 40th anniversary of this masterpiece of British psychedelia by addressing issues that will help put the record in perspective.


Them That Believe: The Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition

By Ralph W. Hood Jr, professor of psychology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and W. Paul Williamson, associate professor of psychology, Henderson State University. University of California Press, £35.00 and £14.95. ISBN 9780520231474 and 55876

In this book, a result of 15 years' work, the authors present a study of serpent handling in Christianity, not only exploring facets of this religious practice, but also providing a rich analysis of this phenomenon from historical, social, religious and psychological perspectives.


Promising Genomics: Iceland and deCODE Genetics in a World of Speculation By Mike Fortun, assistant professor in the department of science and technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute University of California Press, £35.00 and £14.95 ISBN 9780520247505 and 7512 Part detective story, part exposé, and part travelogue, this book investigates one of the signature biotech stories of our time and, in so doing, opens a window onto the high-speed, high-tech, and high-finance world of genome science.

The California Deserts: An Ecological Rediscovery By Bruce M. Pavlik, professor of biology, Mills College University of California Press £35.00, ISBN 9780520251403 This illustrated compendium explores the diversity of life in this harsh yet fragile quarter of the Golden State, illuminating how that diversity, created by drought and heat, has evolved with climate change since the Ice Ages.


The Fourth Crusade: Event, Aftermath, and Perceptions Edited by Thomas F. Madden, chair of the history department, Saint Louis University Ashgate, £50.00 ISBN 9780754663195 This volume, based on studies presented at the Sixth Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East in Istanbul, Turkey in 2004, represents some of the best new research on the Fourth Crusade.

Saint Cicero and the Jesuits: The Influence of the Liberal Arts on the Adoption of Moral Probabilism By Robert Aleksander Maryks, assistant professor of history, City University New York Ashgate, £55.00 ISBN 9780754662938 In this monograph, Maryks argues that Jesuit interest in classical learning prompted them to re-examine their own concepts of conscience and confession, leading them to increasingly abandon traditional concepts of putting the demands of the law above the calls of their own conscience.


The Sources of Chaucer’s Poetics

By Amanda Holton, lecturer in English, University of Oxford Ashgate, £50.00 ISBN 9780754663942 Focusing on four aspects of Chaucer’s poetics – use of narrative, speech, rhetoric, and figurative language – this book-length study identifies Chaucer’s poetic strategies by making specific comparisons with textual sources.


America and Its Critics

By Sergio Fabbrini, professor of political science, Trento University Polity, £50.00 and £15.99 ISBN 9780745642505 and 2512 Aiming to clear away the misunderstandings and prejudices that cloud contemporary debates about America, this book brings out the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the American democratic experience.

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