Published this week

October 29, 2009

? = Review forthcoming

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

- The Origin Then and Now: An Interpretative Guide to the Origin of Species

By David N. Reznick, professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside. Princeton University Press, £20.95. ISBN 9780691129785

Reznick examines Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species within its historical context, using modern examples to reveal why the work remains a relevant and living document today.

ECONOMICS

- ? Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays

By Joel Waldfogel, Ehrenkranz professor and chair of business and public policy, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Princeton University Press, £6.95. ISBN 9780691142647

By reprioritising our gift-giving habits, Waldfogel aims to prove that the economy can be maintained without gouging our wallets while allowing us to reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.

EDUCATION

- The Trials of Academe: The New Era of Campus Litigation

By Amy Gajda, assistant professor of journalism and law, University of Illinois. Harvard University Press, £25.95. ISBN 9780674035676

Gajda explores the origins and causes of the litigation trend, its implications for academic freedom and what lawyers, judges and academics can do to limit the potential damage.

- ? The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another

By Rebecca Cox, assistant professor of education, Seton Hall University. Harvard University Press, £18.95. ISBN 9780674035485

Cox draws on five years of interviews and observations at community colleges to show how students and instructors misunderstand and ultimately fail one another, despite good intentions.

HISTORY

- Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages

By Brett Edward Whalen, assistant professor of history, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Harvard University Press, £22.95. ISBN 9780674036291

Starting with 11th-century papal reform, Whalen shows how theological readings of history, prophecies and apocalyptic scenarios enabled medieval churchmen to project Rome's authority over the world.

- Global Dawn: The Cultural Foundation of American Internationalism, 1865-1890

By Frank Ninkovich, professor of history, St John's University. Harvard University Press, £36.95. ISBN 9780674035041

Ninkovich shows that a cultural predisposition for thinking in global terms blossomed in the late 19th century, making America's rise to world power possible.

- ? The Birth of Feminism: Women as Intellect in Renaissance Italy and England

By Sarah Gwyneth Ross, assistant professor of history, Boston College. Harvard University Press, £36.95. ISBN 9780674034549

Ross demonstrates how the expanding ranks of learned women in the Renaissance era presented the first significant challenge to the traditional definition of "woman" in the West.

- History of Technology, Volume 29: Technology in China

Edited by Ian Inkster, research professor of international history, Nottingham Trent University. Continuum, £90.00. ISBN 9781441136114

The 29th volume in this reference features two collections, one considering technology in Imperial China, and the other the Mindful Hand.

- Red Coat, Green Machine: Continuity in Change in the British Army 1700 to 2000

By Charles Kirke, lecturer in military anthropology and human factors, Cranfield University. Continuum, £60.00. ISBN 9781847252494

Kirke searches for a human thread that connects soldiers over a 300-year period using first-hand accounts from witnesses, memoirs, diaries and letters.

- Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture

By Nadja Durbach, associate professor of history, University of Utah. University of California Press, £.95. ISBN 9780520257689

Durbach argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debate about the meanings attached to bodily difference.

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

- Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas

By Robert B. Brandom, distinguished professor of philosophy, University of Pittsburgh. Harvard University Press, £22.95. ISBN 9780674034495

Reason in Philosophy provides an overview of Brandom's understanding of the role of reason as the structure of our minds and our meanings.

- Agency and Embodiment: Performing Gestures, Producing Culture

By Carrie Noland, professor of French and comparative literature, University of California, Irvine. Harvard University Press, £33.95. ISBN 9780674034518

Noland examines the ways in which culture is both embodied and challenged through the corporeal performance of gestures, and argues against the constructivist metaphor of bodily inscription dominant since Michel Foucault.

- Heidegger's Platonism

By Mark A. Ralkowski, part-time instructor in philosophy, University of New Mexico. Continuum, £65.00. ISBN 9781441184894

Ralkowski challenges Martin Heidegger's 1940 interpretation of Plato as the philosopher who initiated the West's ontological decline into contemporary nihilism.

- Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient Judaism

By Seth Schwartz, Lucius N. Littauer professor of classical Jewish civilisation, Columbia University. Princeton University Press, £20.95. ISBN 9780691140544

Schwartz argues that Jewish social relations in antiquity were animated by a core tension between biblical solidarity and exchange-based social values such as patronage, vassalage, formal friendship and debt slavery.

POLITICS

- The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle

By Harold James, professor of history and international relations, Princeton University. Harvard University Press, £14.95. ISBN 9780674035843

James examines the vulnerability and fragility of globalisation both past and present, and shows the looming psychological and material consequences of an interconnected world for people and the institutions they create.

- An Atlas of Middle Eastern Affairs

By Ewan W. Anderson, visiting professor, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, and Liam D. Anderson, associate professor of political science, Wright State University. Taylor and Francis, £80.00 and £20.99. ISBN 9780415455145 and 5152

This volume is a graphic introduction to an area intimately connected to global issues of security, politics, religion and economics. Entries on current issues in the Middle East are combined with maps detailing their geopolitical background and context.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

- ? Stuff

By Daniel Miller, professor of anthropology, University College London. Polity, £50.00 and £15.99. ISBN 9780745644233 and 4240

Based on more than 30 years' research in the Caribbean, India, London and elsewhere, this book is billed as a manifesto for the study of material culture and a new way of looking at the objects that make up so much of our lives.

- Excess: Anti-consumerism in the West

By Kim Humphery, associate professor of history and social theory, RMIT University. Polity, £55.00 and £15.99. ISBN 9780745645407 and 5414

Humphery provides an overview and analysis of the "new politics of consumption" embodied in movements such as simple living, slow food and fair trade, as well as an examination of anti-consumerism.

- Gripes: The Little Quarrels of Couples

By Jean-Claude Kaufmann, professor of sociology, University of Paris V. Polity, £55.00 and £15.99. ISBN 9780745643618 and 3625

Kaufmann shows how and why sparks can suddenly fly even in the most well-adjusted relationships, and argues that it is through learning to overcome these irritations and aggravations that love is ultimately strengthened.

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