Published this week

February 19, 2009

? = Review forthcoming

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

- Homo erectus: Pleistocene Evidence from the Middle Awash, Ethiopia

Edited by W. Henry Gilbert, assistant professor of anthropology, California State University. University of California Press, £54.00. ISBN 9780520251205

This volume, the first in a series devoted to the palaeoanthropological resources of the Middle Awash Valley of Ethiopia, studies Homo erectus, a close relative of Homo sapiens.

ECONOMICS

- Economic Liberalisation, Social Capital and Islamic Welfare Provision

By Jane Harrigan, professor of economics, School of Oriental and African Studies, and Hamed El-Said, reader in the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa, Manchester Metropolitan University. Palgrave Macmillan, £55.00. ISBN 9780230202191

Harrigan and El-Said examine two aspects of Islamic activity in the Middle East and North Africa: the development of social capital and the provision of welfare services, especially in the areas of health and education.

- Aid and Power in the Arab World: World Bank and IMF Policy-Based Lending in the Middle East and North Africa

By Jane Harrigan, professor of economics, School of Oriental and African Studies, and Hamed El-Said, reader in the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa, Manchester Metropolitan University. Palgrave Macmillan, £55.00. ISBN 9780230211964

This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the role of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the Middle East and North Africa, and considers the politics of aid flows in the region. It is aimed at those who are interested in recent economic reforms and the impact of international financial institutions on the area.

HISTORY

- Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution

By Helen Yaffe, teaching fellow in Latin American history, University College London. Palgrave Macmillan, £70.00 and £17.99. ISBN 9780230218208 and 8215

Based on new archival research and interviews with his contemporaries and colleagues, this book records Guevara's contribution to industrial organisation, economic management and socialist political economy debates as a member of the Cuban Government.

- Cuba in the Special Period

Edited by Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, assistant professor of communication, University of California, San Diego. Palgrave Macmillan, £40.00. ISBN 9780230606548

This collection examines Cuban cultural production during the Special Period of the 1990s, which followed the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Contributors address the cultural forms and the associated ethics and practices of labour, leisure and bureaucratic organisation that arose in the transformation of the country's socialist cultural infrastructure.

- ? Abraham Lincoln in the Post-Heroic Era: History and Memory in Late Twentieth-Century America

By Barry Schwartz, emeritus professor of sociology, University of Georgia. University of Chicago Press, £17.50. ISBN 9780226741888

Drawing on a range of sources including films, surveys and public commemorations, Schwartz documents the decline of Lincoln's public standing, asking throughout whether there is any way back from this post-heroic era.

- The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan

By Sarah C. Soh, professor of anthropology, San Francisco State University. University of Chicago Press, £41.00 and £14.50. ISBN 9780226767765 and 7772

Soh reveals that the forces of Japanese colonialism and Korean patriarchy together shaped the fate of Korean comfort women - a double bind made strikingly apparent in the cases of women cast into sexual slavery after fleeing abuse at home.

LAW

- A Constitution of Many Minds: Why the Founding Document Doesn't Mean What It Meant Before

By Cass R. Sunstein, Felix Frankfurter professor of law, Harvard University. Princeton University Press, £16.95. ISBN 9780691133379

Exploring hot-button issues ranging from presidential power to same-sex relations and gun rights, Sunstein shows how the meaning of America's Constitution is re-established in every generation as new social commitments and ideas compel citizens to reassess their fundamental beliefs.

LITERATURE

- Writing Diaspora in the West

By Peter McCarthy, research fellow, University of Technology, Sydney. Palgrave Macmillan, £50.00. ISBN 9780230218871

McCarthy argues that the surveyors and theoreticians of modern human subjectivity have discovered in the margins a motherland, nourishing and nurturing them in the fantastic culture of what he terms the "new marginalism".

MATHEMATICS

- Mathematics in India

By Kim Plofker, visiting professor in mathematics, Union College, New York. Princeton University Press, £28.95. ISBN 9780691120676

Based on extensive research in Sanskrit sources, Plofker chronicles the development of mathematical techniques and texts in South Asia from antiquity to the early-modern period.

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES

- Digital Media Ethics

By Charles Ess, distinguished research professor in global studies and professor in philosophy and religion, Drury University, Missouri. Polity, £45.00 and £14.99. ISBN 9780745641638 and 1645

In considering the central ethical issues of digital media, ranging from computers and the internet to mobile phones, Ess employs a global perspective as well as ethical theories from multiple cultures.

MUSIC STUDIES

- This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk

By Steve Waksman, associate professor of music and American studies, Smith College, Massachusetts. University of California Press, £38.95. ISBN 9780520253100

Waksman's revisionist history of rock music after 1970 aims to reconsider the roles of two genres, heavy metal and punk. Instead of viewing metal and punk as aesthetically opposed to each other, he shows that they share a profound connection.

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

- Women and the Divine: Touching Transcendence

Edited by Gillian Howie, senior lecturer in philosophy, University of Liverpool, and J'annine Jobling, associate professor of theology and philosophy, Liverpool Hope University. Palgrave Macmillan, £40.00. ISBN 9781403984135

This collection brings together prominent scholars to ask whether we can reconceive the category of transcendence from a feminist perspective, taking into account ethics, women's subjectivity, (sexed) embodiment and differing models for spirituality.

PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

- Quantum Mechanics in a Nutshell

By Gerald D. Mahan, distinguished professor of physics, Pennsylvania State University. Princeton University Press, £38.95. ISBN 9780691137131

Emphasising the use of quantum mechanics to describe actual quantum systems such as atoms and solids, this book proceeds from solving for the properties of a single particle in potential to solving for two particles before addressing many-particle systems.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

- Nanotechnology, Risk and Communication

By Alison Anderson, reader in sociology, University of Plymouth, Alan Petersen, professor of sociology, Monash University, Claire Wilkinson, senior lecturer in science communications, University of the West of England, and Stuart Allan, professor of journalism, Bournemouth University. Palgrave Macmillan, £50.00. ISBN 9780230506930

Drawing together insights from media studies, sociology and science and technology studies, this book offers an analysis of the early framing of nanotechnology and aims to make a contribution to debates about the public communication of science.

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