Published this week

May 14, 2009

? = Review forthcoming


- Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen and the West

By Shoji Yamada, associate professor at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, Japan. University of Chicago Press, £24.00. ISBN 9780226947648

After the Second World War, Zen was considered the highest expression of Japanese spirituality by Westerners and Japanese alike. Yamada examines its sources as a national ideal and uncovers the role of the Ryoanji rock garden and Eugen Herrigel's 1948 work Zen in the Art of Archery.


- Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany

By Lynn K. Nyhart, professor of history of science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. University of Chicago Press, £31.00. ISBN 9780226610894

Late 19th-century Germany saw the emergence of a "biological perspective" emphasising the dynamic relationship between organisms and their environment. Nyhart examines these populist beginnings of animal ecology in the light of Germany's industrialisation, and argues that this modern view stood in contrast to the traditional orientation toward classification.


- Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice

By Michael Armstrong, formerly professor associate, Brunel University. Kogan Page, £39.50. ISBN 9780749452421

Now in an 11th edition, attesting its claim to be the definitive HR guide, the Handbook covers processes, organisational behaviour, rewarding employees and performance management. It has been updated to reflect developments, including a chapter on corporate social responsibility.


-?What Mothers Say about Special Education: From the 1960s to the Present

By Jan W. Valle, assistant professor and head of the graduate childhood education programme, City College of New York. Palgrave Macmillan, £42.50. ISBN 9780230606517

Valle looks at special education from the perspective of 15 mothers whose children attended US public schools in the past four decades. Although parents' right to participate in decisions is rarely contested, the interviewees' candour testifies to the challenges involved.


- Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France, Queen of England

By Ralph V. Turner, emeritus professor of history, Florida State University. Yale University Press, £25.00. ISBN 9780300119114

In aiming to be the definitive account of the turbulent life of an extraordinary woman and a headstrong royal daughter, wife and mother, Turner's biography draws on primary sources to challenge the myths surrounding Eleanor's character and historical importance.


- Diasporas in the Contemporary World

By Milton J. Esman, John S. Knight professor emeritus of international studies and professor emeritus of government at Cornell University. Polity, £50.00 and £14.99. ISBN 9780745644967 and 44974

As diaspora groups see an unprecedented global increase, Esman examines the causes and impacts of that change, along with the marked differences in the reception of diasporas around the world and the responses of these communities to their new cultural and political environments.


- Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France

By Michel Foucault. Palgrave Macmillan, £11.99. ISBN 9781403986535

Derived from lectures given in 1977-78 by the renowned theorist, the book outlines a radical turning point in his work and explores his concept of "bio-power" and the history of "governmentality" - arguably the missing link revealing the innate unity of Foucault's thought.

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