Published this week

October 23, 2008

? = Review forthcoming


- ? Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science

By Robert L. Park, professor emeritus of physics, University of Maryland. Princeton University Press, £14.95. ISBN 9780691133553

Taking on supernatural beliefs from religion and the afterlife to New Age spiritualism and faith-based medical claims, and examining recent controversies, this book concludes that science is the only way we have of understanding the world.


- ? The Making of Mr Gray's Anatomy

By Ruth Richardson, senior visiting research fellow in history, University of Hertfordshire. Oxford University Press, £16.99. ISBN 9780199552993

Richardson tells the story of the creation, inspiration and changing attitudes of the mid-19th century towards science, medicine and technology that helped build one of the most iconic scientific books ever published: Gray's Anatomy.

- Guardians of Islam: Religious Authority and Muslim Communities of Late Medieval Spain

By Kathryn A. Miller, assistant professor of history, Stanford University. Columbia University Press, £26.50. ISBN 9780231136129

By focusing on the legal scholars of 15th-century Aragonese Muslim communities and translating little-known texts, Miller unearths a sustained effort to connect with Muslim coreligionaries and preserve practice and belief in the face of Christian influences.

- Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America

By Frederick Douglass Opie. Columbia University Press, £14.95. ISBN 9780231146388

Beginning with the Atlantic slave trade and concluding with the Black Power movement, Opie reveals soul food to be a mixture of West and Central African influences, and examines the adaptations made by slaves to the conditions of slavery and freedom in the Americas.


- Intellectual Property and Theories of Justice

Edited by Axel Gosseries, permanent research fellow at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, University of Louvain, Alain Marciano, associate professor of economic philosophy, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and Alain Strowel, professor of law, Saint-Louis University, University of Liege and the Catholic University of Brussels-Leuven, Belgium. Palgrave Macmillan, £50.00. ISBN 9780230007093

In this volume, 14 philosophers, economists and legal scholars and one computer scientist address various facets of the same question: under which conditions (if any) can intellectual property rights be fair?


- Commodity Culture in Dickens's Household Words: The Social Life of Goods

By Catherine Waters, senior lecturer in English, University of New England. Ashgate, £50.00. ISBN 9780754655787

Although studies of Victorian commodity culture have tended to focus on the novel, this book provides a cultural study of the journal's representation of commodities that records the changing relationship between people and things exposed in the contributors' attempts to come to terms with the development of urban culture.

- Intertextual Masculinity in French Renaissance Literature: Rabelais, Brantome, and the Cent nouvelles nouvelles

By David P. LaGuardia, associate professor of French and comparative literature, Dartmouth College. Ashgate, £55.00. ISBN 978054662167

Using historical documents, LaGuardia provides in-depth analysis of normative masculinity in a specific corpus from pre-modern Europe: narrative literature devoted to the subject of adultery and cuckoldry.

- Shakespeare and the Eighteenth Century

Edited by Peter Sabor, Canada research chair in 18th-century studies and professor of English, McGill University, and Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson professor of Shakespeare studies, McGill University. Ashgate, £50.00. ISBN 9780754662952

This volume brings together Renaissance and 18th-century scholars who examine how Shakespeare gradually penetrated, and came to dominate, the culture and intellectual life of people in the English-speaking world.

- The Reformation in Rhyme: Sternhold, Hopkins and the English Metrical Psalter, 1547-1603

By Beth Quitslund, associate professor of English, Ohio University. Ashgate, £60.00. ISBN 9780754663263

Despite the significant impact of the Whole Booke of Psalmes on English culture and literature, this is the first book-length study and the first sustained critical examination of the texts it comprises.

- Voluntary Servitude and the Erotics of Friendship: From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern France

By Marc D. Schachter, assistant professor of French, Duke University. Ashgate, £50.00. ISBN 9780754664598

Focusing primarily on three Early Modern French authors, this book explores the erotics and politics of "voluntary servitude" in classical antiquity and the Early Modern period through Michel Foucault's late work on governmentality and the care of the self.


- Understanding the Classical Music Profession: The Past, the Present and Strategies for the Future

By Dawn Elizabeth Bennett, research fellow in music, Curtin University of Technology. Ashgate, £50.00. ISBN 9780754659594

Bennett argues that perceptions of musicians as multi-skilled professionals working within portfolio careers have significant implications for policy, funding, education and training, and for practitioners and students seeking to achieve sustainable careers.

- Thresholds: Rethinking Spirituality Through Music

By Marcel Cobussen, professor of music philosophy and culture, Leiden University. Ashgate, £50.00 and £15.99. ISBN 9780754664796 and 4826

Presenting an idea of spirituality in and through music that counters strategies of exclusion and mastering of alterity, Cobussen then connects it to wandering, erring and roving.


- Laid Off, Laid Low: Political and Economic Consequences of Employment Insecurity

By Katherine S. Newman. Columbia University Press, £26.50 and £8.95. ISBN 9780231146043 and 6050

This is a sobering portrait of the ailing American labour system and the social and political consequences of increasing job insecurity. It proves that the health of the labour market is not a transitory issue brought low by the factors of recession, but a serious concern reflecting deep structural problems in American society.

- The Making of a Digital World: The Evolution of Technological Change and How It Shaped Our World

By Joachim K. Rennstich, assistant professor in the department of political science, Fordham University. Palgrave Macmillan, £42.50. ISBN 9781403974488

Describing globalisation as a long-term process of intertwined technological, economic, political and cultural changes, the author identifies distinct phases in the global system development, and concludes that the pattern of change continues even with the rise of new digital technologies.


- Paranoia: The 21st-Century Fear

By Daniel Freeman, Wellcome Trust fellow in the department of psychology, King's College London. Oxford University Press, £9.99. ISBN 9780199237500

Drawing on the latest scientific research, Freeman answers the key questions about paranoia - from how we can deal with it, to whether we live in a uniquely paranoid age - and highlights for the first time the central role of paranoia in our world today.

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