Published this week

April 8, 2010

LITERATURE

- Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill

By Helen Vendler, A. Kingsley Porter university professor, Harvard University. Princeton University Press, £13.95. ISBN 9780691145341

Examining the work of five modern American poets, Vendler observes the methods they used when writing their final books and considers how the authors enrich the resources of lyric poetry as they contemplate death.

LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS

- Figures of Speech: Picturing Proverbs in Renaissance Netherlands

By Walter S. Gibson, Andrew W. Mellon professor of the humanities emeritus, Case Western Reserve University. University of California Press, £34.95. ISBN 9780520259546

Gibson seeks to provide a comprehensive survey into the visual representations of proverbs used by 16th-century Netherlanders, and argues that the adages serve as invaluable guides to life in that era.

MATHEMATICS

- How to Read Historical Mathematics

By Benjamin Wardhaugh, postdoctoral research fellow, All Souls College, Oxford. Princeton University Press, £15.95. ISBN 9780691140148

Sampling the work of early mathematicians, Wardhaugh's introduction to the analytical questions historians ask when deciphering historical texts attempts to reveal the meaning and significance of the given texts.

PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY

- Meaning in Life and Why It Matters

By Susan Wolf, Edna J. Koury professor of philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Princeton University Press, £16.95. ISBN 9780691145242

Wolf argues that the motivation behind human behaviour cannot be classified into egoistic or altruistic reasoning, and instead suggests that it is humankind's act of love for objects that are perceived worthy of this affection that provides the meaning in our lives.

- Divinely Abused: A Philosophical Perspective on Job and his Kin

By Nehama Verbin, assistant professor, Tel Aviv University. Continuum, £55.00. ISBN 9780826435880

This text sees Verbin explore the logical features of the experience of divine abuse and the religious difficulties that this gives rise to. Focusing on the Book of Job and Job's relation to God, she seeks to offer new insights into the ethics and philosophy of religion.

POLITICS

- Politics as Usual

By Thomas Pogge, professor of philosophy and international affairs, Yale University. Wiley, £55.00 and £16.99. ISBN 9780745638928 and 8935

Pogge suggests that the idea that there are constant official efforts to improve human standards of living is a fiction knowingly promoted by Western governments and complicit media. Presenting an alternative view, he draws on case studies to suggest that affluent states knowingly contribute to poverty and oppression worldwide.

PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY

- Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power

By Derek Hook, lecturer, Institute of Social Psychology, London School of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, £17.99. ISBN 9780230008205

Applying the key concepts of Foucault's work to the field of psychology and the social sciences, Hook examines social issues such as racism, sexuality, paedophilia, subjectivity and power, and argues for a historical and genealogical analysis of the philosopher's work.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

- Working in Statutory Contexts

By Andrew Hill, lecturer in social work, University of York. Wiley, £55.00 and £14.99. ISBN 9780745642697 and 03

This guide to the key skills required in social work draws on examples and case studies in the field, providing advice on issues such as responding to threats of violence and aggression, giving evidence in court, report writing and coping with emotional issues.

Extra online listings:

Education

The Origins and Foundations of Music Education: Cross-Cultural Historical Studies of Music in Compulsory Schooling

Edited by Gordon Cox, member of the History standing committee of the International Society for Music Education, and Robin Stevens, principal fellow, faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts and Music, University of Melbourne

Continuum, £75.00

ISBN 9781847062079

This work explores the origins and foundations of music education across five continents, considering issues such as the inclusion of music as part of the compulsory school curriculum, teaching methods, the provision and training of teachers of music, and the experiences of pupils within musical education.

History

King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution

By Aram Goudsouzian, associate professor of history, University of Memphis

University of California Press, £20.95

ISBN 9780520258877

An account of the life and career of the first African-American professional basketballer and racial pioneer, Bill Russell, this book offers insights into his transformation of how the game is played. Goudsouzian also seeks to demonstrate how the sports star challenged the politics of sport and the non-violent tenets of the civil rights movement.

Languages and Linguistics

Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space

Edited by Adam Jaworski, professor in language and communication, Cardiff University, and Crispin Thurlow, associate professor of communication and adjunct associate professor of linguistics, University of Washington

Continuum, £85.00

ISBN 9781847061829

Examining how landscapes can generate varying meanings, this volume combines three areas of scholarly interest concerned with key aspects of contemporary life: language and visual discourse, spatial practices, and the changes bought about by global capitalism and mediatisation.

Literature

Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens

By Jerome Loving, distinguished professor of English, Texas A&M University

University of California Press, £24.95

ISBN 9780520252578

This biography of Mark Twain aims to shed new light on the American author and humourist. Making use of newly discovered archival materials, Loving shows how the southerner transformed himself into a westerner and finally into a New Englander.

Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety

By James Rovira, assistant professor of English, Tiffin University, Ohio

Continuum, £60.00

ISBN 9781441135599

Rovira identifies contemporary tensions between monarchy and democracy, science and religion and nature and artifice as the source of both Søren Kierkegaard’s concept of anxiety and William Blake’s representation of creation anxiety.

British Historical Fiction before Scott

By Anne H. Stevens, assistant professor in the department of English, University of Nevada

Palgrave Macmillan, £50.00

ISBN 9780230246294

Stevens examines 85 popular historical novels published between 1762 and 1813 to consider how the conventions of the genre developed through a process of imitation and experimentation.

British Fiction in the Sixties: The Making of the Swinging Decade

By Sebastian Groes, lecturer in English literature, Roehampton University

Continuum, £60.00

ISBN 9780826495570

Charting the major sociopolitical changes of the 1960s, Groes looks at the impact it had on the development of literature. Via the work of writers such as Ann Quinn, Christine Brooke-Rose and J. G. Ballard, the author also examines the continuing influence the period has on contemporary thinking.

Media and Communication Studies

Drop That Knowledge: Youth Radio Stories

By Elisabeth Soep, research director and senior producer, Youth Radio and Vivian Chávez, assistant professor of health education, San Francisco State University

University of California Press, £37.95 and £14.95

ISBN 9780520250215 and 60870

A look at the lives of young people at Youth Radio looks to understand the relationship between the media, learning and youth culture, and offers strategies for engaging and collaborating with diverse groups of young people.

Politics

International Ethics

By Richard Shapcott, senior lecturer in International relations, University of Queensland

Wiley, £55.00 and £17.99

ISBN 9780745631424 and 1431

Shapcott examines and scrutinises the theories of cosmopolitanism, communitarianism, realism and pluralism in this introductory text into key issues in the field of international ethics.

Constitutional Futures Revisited: Britain's Constitution to 2020

Edited by Robert Hazell, professor of government and the constitution, University College London

Palgrave Macmillan, £22.99

ISBN 9780230252134

This collection of work from political scientists and lawyers seeks to forecast the impact of constitutional changes on the UK’s key institutions and the constitution as a whole.

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