Saturday, December 5, 2009

The New Inquisition or Crashing the Gate

The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges

Author: James LaRu

How can you become an effective advocate for intellectual freedom and patron privacy while maintaining a positive relationship with diverse elements of your community? Drawing on his experience as library director, this author advocates assuming a proactive role in every library function, from collection building to community outreach. This approach helps you understand the people who challenge library materials--as individuals and as members of various groups--turning enemies into allies, and building an intellectual, freedom-friendly community. You'll learn what materials get challenged and why and how you can effectively respond to challenges while meeting diverse community needs. Here are stories from the frontlines, practical guidelines on policies and procedures as well as common-sense tips on how to maintain your cool while dealing with specific groups or individuals--all presented with common sense and humor. If you have been struggling with challenges and wonder how you can uphold your ideals while dealing with harsh realities, this is the book you have been waiting for.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: The Blue Line     xi
The Need for and Purpose of This Book     xiii
Scope and Audience     xiii
Background: A Historical Perspective     1
History of Censorship: The Burning of Books     1
Definitions     3
The Constitution and the First Amendment: Foundations of Intellectual Freedom     5
The Library Bill of Rights     15
But What about the Children?     19
Obscenity     20
Religion and Libraries     27
Big 16     28
Madonna     30
Focus on the Family     34
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints     44
The Difference between FOF and the Mormons     49
Reading with the Enemy     50
Generations     57
Types and Life Cycles     59
Public Education: A Profile     61
Focus on the Family: Redefining the Mission     65
Anything Goes?     67
Responding to Challenges     71
Who Are They?     71
The Initial Response     74
The Written Responses: Letters     80
When the Issue Doesn't Die     84
Beyond the Basics: Taking It to the Street     89
The Pyramid Model     89
Geographic Information Systems     94
Becoming a Player     95
The Rubber Chicken Circuit     99
Public Speaking and Writing     99
Using Your Reputation     100
Newspaper Columns     101
Other Media     103
Politics     104
Professional Activity     107
Conclusion: The Fourth Turning?     109
Kid Stuff     109
I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag...     109
Tancredo and Immigration     113
There Is Always a New, a Next Inquisition     115
Appendix     117
Letters     117
Columns     144
References and Resources     149
Reference List     149
Intellectual Freedom Resources     150
Index     153

Look this: Implementing Lean Software Development or Mr China

Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics

Author: Jerome Armstrong

Crashing the Gate is a shot across the bow at the political establishment in Washington, DC and a call to re-democratize politics in America.

This book lays bare, with passion and precision, how ineffective, incompetent, and antiquated the Democratic Party establishment has become, and how it has failed to adapt and respond to new realities and challenges. The authors save their sharpest knives to go for the jugular in their critique of Republican ideologues who are now running—and ruining—our country.

Written by two of the most popular political bloggers in America, the book hails the new movement—of the netroots, the grassroots, the unorthodox labor unions, the maverick big donors—that is the antidote to old-school politics as usual. Fueled by advances in technology and a hunger for a more authentic and populist democracy, this broad-based movement is changing the way political campaigns are waged and managed.

A must-read book for anyone with an interest in the future of American democracy. "

About the Authors:
Jerome Armstrong, a pioneer of the political blogosphere, founded one of the first political blogs,, in 2001. The person behind the netroots strategy that used blogs and meetups for Howard Dean's campaign, Jerome works as an internet strategist for advocacy organizations and political campaigns. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Markos Moulitsas ZŅŠniga served in the U.S. Army for three years and later earned two bachelors degrees from Northern Illinois University and a law degree from Boston University. After moving to California to work in the tech industry, Markos started in May 2002. His blog has had a meteoric rise and now gets more than a million unique visitors each day, making it one of the most popular blogs in the nation. Markos lives in Berkeley, California.

Simon Rosenberg is president and founder of the New Democrat Network, a national membership organization that promotes strategies to modernize progressive politics. Before founding NDN, Rosenberg was a key member of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. He and his family live in Washington DC.

The New York Times - Peter Beinart

Armstrong and Moulitsas may well be right that the next great partisan transformation will be theirs. In Crashing the Gate they have written an insightful guide to how the Democratic Party can retake power. Now all they need to do is figure out why it deserves to.

Library Journal

Armstrong ( and Zuniga (, both popular liberal political bloggers, offer a critique of Democrats and lay out their strategy to save the party and win back control of government at all levels. They present a blistering attack on the Republican Party's ideological constituencies-the theocons, neocons, corporate cons, etc.-and the policies of the Bush administration, but they move quickly to a lengthy critique of the Democratic Party, which they describe, borrowing from Howard Dean, as a collection of single-issue interest groups (e.g., pro-choice, environmental, big labor, and gun control advocates) unwilling to make concessions for the greater good: the success of the party. The authors also note outdated old-boy systems of raising money, outmoded campaign strategies, and a lack of technological sophistication. The Democrats must nurture places where new ideas germinate, such as the world of the blog. Their plan strikes this reader as na ve, considering that Dean didn't win a single primary and that the Republicans have successfully mobilized large numbers of people in support of their candidates. Moreover, they assume that their progressive ideas are, in fact, what the masses subscribe to. While the book may spark some interest among blog readers and writers, its wider appeal will be limited. Recommended for larger public libraries and academic libraries with comprehensive holdings on campaigns and elections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Reinventing Public Health or Liberty and Power

Reinventing Public Health: Policies and Practices for a Healthy Nation

Author: Lu Ann Aday

Reinventing Public Health offers guidance for translating the growing body of research on the fundamental social, economic, and ecological determinants of health into innovative programs and policies to improve the health of populations.

Doody Review Services

Reviewer: Ross M. Mullner, PhD, MPH (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book reconceptualizes the field of public health. It presents a bold new public policy orientation to improve the health of the population of the United States, and to reduce the nation's health disparities. The book also discusses the initiatives taken by several other nations, particularly Canada, to redress social inequities.
Purpose: According to the editor: "The book introduces a framework for identifying, arraying, and evaluating the evidence regarding the fundamental social, economic, and ecological determinants of population health and health disparities; explores the role of related development policies in influencing these fundamental determinants; and suggests alternative models of more health-centered policy and program design incorporating a consideration of the fundamental determinants of health."
Audience: This book is written for graduate students in public health, public policy, medical sociology, and political science. The editor, Lu Ann Aday, is a nationally known, highly respected professor and scholar from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.
Features: The book consists of seven chapters. Each of the chapters is well crafted and flows nicely into the next with little overlap. A large name and subject index concludes the book.
Assessment: This is a very refreshing new look at public health. Unlike many textbooks in public health which basically repeat what has been said many times before, this book looks at public health from a new and original perspective. It is well organized, well written, and well researched. I highly recommend it!


4 Stars! from Doody

Table of Contents:
1Analytic framework1
2Fundamental determinants of population health35
3Sustainable development65
4Human development106
5Economic development183
6Community development and public health237
7Toward a healthy (re)public285

See also: Chicago or Once in a Lifetime Trips

Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion and U. S. Foreign Policy in an Unjust World

Author: J Bryan Hehir

What role should religion play in shaping and implementing U.S. foreign policy?

The dominant attitude over the last half century on the subject of religion and international relations was expressed well by Dean Acheson, Harry Truman's secretary of state: "Moral Talk was fine preaching for the Final Day of Judgment, but it was not a view I would entertain as a public servant." Was Acheson right?

How a nation "commits itself to freedom" has long been at the heart of debates about foreign aid, economic sanctions, and military intervention. Moral and faith traditions have much to say about what is required to achieve this end. And after September 11, no one can doubt the importance of religious beliefs in influencing relations among peoples and nations.

The contributors to this volume come at the issue from very different perspectives and offer exceptional and unexpected insights on a question now at the forefront of American foreign policy.

Author Description:
J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and was formerly the president and CEO of Catholic Charities U.S.A.

Michael Walzer is a leading American political theorist and a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. He is the author of several books, including Just and Unjust Wars.

Louise Richardson serves as the executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and is an expert in international terrorism and defense policy.

Shibley Telhami is Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a non-resident senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of numerous books, including the national bestseller The Stakes (Westview).

Charles Krauthammer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist at the Washington Post. He contributes frequently to Time Magazine, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, and The National Interest.

James M. Lindsay is vice president and director of studies of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he holds the Maurice R. Greenberg Chair. He was previously deputy director and senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. His books include Agenda for the Nation (Brookings 2003) and Defending America: The Case for Limited National Missile Defense (Brookings 2001). In 1996-97, Lindsay was director for global issues and multilateral affairs on the National Security Council staff.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Developing Global Executives or Faith and the Presidency

Developing Global Executives: The Lessons of International Experience

Author: Morgan W McCall

In our borderless global economy, companies must ship their executives nearly as far and wide as their products. Whether these far-flung executives soar or land with a thud may make all the difference between a successful international enterprise or a world-class failure -- and it is this crucial difference that Developing Global Executives defines.

Based on a wide-ranging study of veteran global executives, leadership development experts Morgan W. McCall, Jr. and George P. Hollenbeck reveal what it takes for organizations to groom, and individuals to become, successful international executives. The answer sounds deceptively simple: People learn to "be global" from doing global work. But therein lies a tricky distinction -- what specific types of career experiences are the ones that prepare global leaders for their roles? To what extent can individuals seek out -- and companies help orchestrate -- these experiences?

In Developing Global Executives, leading global executives help answer these questions. Through their candid, rich, and varied stories, readers learn who global executives are, what distinguishes them from domestic leaders, and which experiences have been most critical to mastering their extremely demanding careers.

In addition, these "lessons from the field" underscore the key requirements and challenges of effective leadership in a global environment: from the importance of continuous learning and the crucial role of mentors to the difficulties in overcoming "culture shock" and the warning signs of potential derailment. Practical and far-sighted, this book offers a wealth of firsthand insights for aspiring and current international executives and the organizations that employ them.

With today's ever-increasing complexity in business, organizations need to capitalize on every developmental opportunity. Developing Global Executives will help you do just that by providing a thorough itinerary and useful guide for executives moving in the new, completely global environment. On your exploratory journey through the book, you will meet many fascinating people, learn from their stories, and come away with real wisdom.

Table of Contents:
1Introduction: A World of Possibilities1
2What Is a Global Executive?19
3Global Journeys: The Lives of Global Executives41
4The Lessons of International Experience77
5Experiences That Teach Global Executives107
6Making Sense of Culture129
7When Things Go Wrong153
8Developing Global Executives: The Organization's Role171
9Building a Global Career: The Individual's Part197
App. A: Interview Questions219
App. B: Methodology223
App. C: Supplementary Tables227
About the Authors259

Book about: Buckets of Money or Call Me Ted

Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush

Author: Gary Scott Smith

In the wake of the 2004 election, pundits were shocked at exit polling that showed that 22% of voters thought "moral values" was the most important issue at stake. People on both sides of the political divide believed this was the key to victory for George W. Bush, who professes a deep and abiding faith in God. While some fervent Bush supporters see him as a man chosen by God for the White House, opponents see his overt commitment to Christianity as a dangerous and unprecedented bridging of the gap between church and state.
In fact, Gary Scott Smith shows, none of this is new. Religion has been a major part of the presidency since George Washington's first inaugural address. Despite the mounting interest in the role of religion in American public life, we actually know remarkably little about the faith of our presidents. Was Thomas Jefferson an atheist, as his political opponents charged? What role did Lincoln's religious views play in his handling of slavery and the Civil War? How did born-again Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter lose the support of many evangelicals? Is George W. Bush, as his critics often claim, a captive of the religious right? In this fascinating book, Smith answers these questions and many more. He takes a sweeping look at the role religion has played in presidential politics and policies. Drawing on extensive archival research, Smith paints compelling portraits of the religious lives and presidencies of eleven chief executives for whom religion was particularly important.
Faith and the Presidency meticulously examines what each of its subjects believed and how those beliefs shaped their presidencies and, in turn, the course of our history.

Library Journal

Given the separation of church and state specified by the Second Amendment, Americans have both contested and championed the expression of religious faith by their leaders. Smith (history, Grove City Coll.) carefully collects and collates the personal views and attitudes on religion and the relations with religious institutions and constituencies of 11 U.S. Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelts, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, Reagan, and George W. Bush. "In the final analysis," Scott concludes, "we must be careful not to make too much or too little of the influence of presidents' faith on how they performed their duties. Scholars have tended to take it into account too little; some critics and admirers have given it too much attention." Methodologically, Smith is less than persuasive in his attempts to demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships between faith and policy. But readers need not share his perspective or conclusions in order to thank him for the wealth of source material and historical detail he has amassed on a fascinating and important topic. Recommended for all libraries.-Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lincoln on Democracy or My Way or the Highway

Lincoln on Democracy

Author: Mario Cuomo

Back in print after ten years, this unique book brings together 141 speeches, speech excerpts, letters, fragments, and other writings by Lincoln on the theme of democracy. Selected by leading historians, the writings include such standards as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, but also such little-seen writings as a letter assuring a general that the President felt safe-drafted just three days before Lincoln's assassination. In this richly annotated anthology, the writings are grouped thematically into seven sections that cover politics, slavery, the union, democracy, liberty, the nation divided, and the American Dream. The introductions are by well-known historians: Gabor Borritt, William E. Gienapp, Charles B. Strozier, Richard Nelson Current, James M. McPherson, Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Hans L. Trefousse. In addition, each section's title page displays a photograph of Lincoln from the time period covered in that section, with a paragraph describing the source and the occasion for which the photograph was made.

Table of Contents:
Preface to the Fordham University Press edition
"Not much of me" : Lincoln's "autobiography," age 50, December 20, 1859
I"The people's business" : Lincoln and the American dream, 1832-1852
No wealthy ... relations to recommend me9
I shall be governed by their will11
The people know their rights12
Injustice and bad policy13
The political religion of the nation15
The wealthy can not justly complain24
Many free countries have lost their liberty25
'God tempers the wind'26
The sorrow quenching draughts of perfect liberty28
By the fruit the tree is to be known30
Useless labour is ... the same as idleness32
The right to rise up34
No one man should hold the power36
There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good38
Leaving the people's business in their hands40
Go to work, 'tooth and nails'41
Valuable to his adopted country43
Resolve to be honest44
The presidency ... is no bed of roses46
Principles held dear49
A deep devotion to the cause of human liberty51
II"All we have ever held sacred" : Lincoln and slavery, 1854-1857
We proposed to give all a chance62
'To do for the people what needs to be done'63
Our Republican robe is soiled65
No peaceful extinction of slavery in prospect78
I am not a know-nothing80
This great principle of equality84
Free society is not ... a failure86
A standard maxim for free society88
Not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots92
III"Another explosion will come" : Lincoln and the house divided, 1858
Government cannot endure ... half slave and half free105
The electric cord in that declaration114
Fight this battle upon principle118
This expresses my idea of democracy121
Return to the fountain121
I claim no ... exemption from personal ambition123
The moral lights around us125
Our reliance is in the love of liberty127
Never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife128
Give to him that is needy130
'He trembled for his country'132
The eternal struggle134
The fight must go on136
IV"Right makes might" : Lincoln and the race for president, 1859-1960
Sole hope of the future148
He who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave154
Aim at the elevation of men156
The moral lights around us157
Equality ... beats inequality159
Free labor ... gives hope to all160
Let us stand by our duty164
The laborer can strike if he wants to175
Allow the humblest man an equal chance176
I accept the nomination177
Work, work, work is the main thing178
I rejoice with you in the success179
The tug has to come180
V"Hour of trial" : Lincoln and union, 1861
The principle that clears the path for all188
If we surrender, it is the end of us189
With a task before me190
Liberty, for yourselves, and not for me191
There is but little harm I can do192
Give the greatest good to the greatest number193
The majority shall rule194
The ship can be saved, with the cargo195
In accordance with the original idea196
I would rather be assassinated198
Plain as a turnpike road199
The momentous issue of Civil War201
I hope we have a government and a president210
The perpetuity of popular government211
We can not permanently prevent their action213
Suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus214
The central idea pervading this struggle215
A Polish gentleman ... highly recommended216
This is ... a people's contest217
Allow no man to be shot226
I cannot assume this reckless position227
Wanting to work is so rare229
The capacity of man for self-government230
The struggle of today ... for a vast future also231
VI"Forever free" : Lincoln and liberty, 1862-1863
The principle of the equal rights of men243
Gradual ... emancipation, is better for all244
Government was saved from overthrow246
Our common country is in great peril247
A fit and necessary military measure249
Your race are suffering251
My paramount object in this struggle253
God wills this contest254
The time has come now255
Thenceforward, and forever free257
To suppress the insurrection260
Breath alone kills no rebels262
A fiery trial263
We cannot escape history264
The promise must now be kept269
Sincerely believed to be ... an act of justice270
An instance of sublime Christian heroism273
I will risk the dictatorship275
Resist ... such recognition276
Public safety does require the suspension277
The decision is to be made282
How long ago is it? - eighty odd years283
My 'public-opinion baths'284
Those who shall have tasted actual freedom ... can never be slaves285
Better prepared for the new286
You say you will not fight to free Negroes288
The boundless field of absolutism?292
Has the manhood of our race run out?293
I do not intend to be a tyrant296
VII"For us the living" : Lincoln and democracy, 1863-1865
New birth of freedom307
You will not find that to be an obstacle308
The new reckoning309
I have never interfered ... in any church311
Common looking people are the best in the world312
Universal amnesty ... with universal suffrage313
Keep the jewel of liberty314
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another315
Never knew a man who wished to be ... a slave316
If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong316
The limb must be sacrificed319
A good definition of the word liberty320
So that they can have the benefit321
May I have to answer for robbing no man323
A fitting, and necessary conclusion324
The people's business325
I should deserve to be damned325
Kindly paying attention327
Any one of your children may look to come here328
My duty to co-operate329
The purposes of the almighty are perfect330
Struggling to maintain government, not to overthrow it331
Discharge him at once332
The election was a necessity333
Not the sort of religion upon which people can get to heaven335
The voice of the people336
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude ... shall exist338
A king's cure for all the evils339
With malice toward none340
I have always thought that all men should be free343
A righteous and speedy peace344
A union of hearts and hands349
Afterword : the Abraham Lincoln association351
Lincoln, the nation, and the world : a chronology, 1809-1865355

Go to: New Deal or Raw Deal or Emily Posts the Etiquette Advantage in Business

My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide

Author: Harry E Chambers

Most people think that micromanagement occurs only in management-employee relationships, but the truth is that it happens everywhere: employees micromanage managers, customers micromanaging vendors, board members micromanaging company leaders, parents micromanage children, governments micromanage citizens, peers micromanage one another, and more. With shoot-from-the-hip style and plenty of real-world examples, My Way or the Highway illustrates how micromanagement interferes with performance and productivity, resulting in huge costs - hidden, direct, and indirect - to individuals and organizations. In highly practical terms, management expert Harry Chambers explains the art of dealing with micromanagers at a personal level and how to introduce the more system-wide changes needed for productive environments. Readers learn valuable strategies for lessening the impact of micromanagers, as well as how to identify and correct their own managerial behaviors.

Monday, November 30, 2009

First in His Class or On Religious Liberty

First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton

Author: David Maraniss

Who exactly is Bill Clinton, and why was he, of all the brilliant and ambitious men in his generation, the first in his class to reach the White House? Drawing on hundreds of letters, documents, and interviews, David Maraniss explores the evolution of the personality of our forty-second president from his youth in Arkansas to his 1991 announcement that he would run for the nation's highest office. In this richly textured and balanced biography, Maraniss reveals a complex man full of great flaws and great talents. First in His Class is the definitive book on Bill Clinton.

Publishers Weekly

In this incisive, richly textured, fair-minded biography of Bill Clinton, which ends on the night he announced his presidential candidacy, Washington Post reporter Maraniss limns a quintessential politician, "sincere and deceptive at the same time.'' Drawing on interviews with nearly 400 people, including Clinton's closest friends, colleagues and relatives, Maraniss taps two sides of Clinton-one intelligent, empathetic, indefatigable, another petulant, tantrum-prone, indecisive, misleading, too eager to please-and declares that these components of the man are inseparable. There are revealing glimpses of Clinton the semi-bohemian Oxford antiwar activist; the casual, disorganized University of Arkansas law professor; and the Arkansas governor soliciting large contributions from corporate leaders for the public relations arm of his permanent political campaign. Maraniss, whose articles on Clinton's presidential candidacy won a Pulitzer Prize, also illuminates Clinton's pragmatic partnership with Hillary Rodham and their dependence on each other during their long haul from Arkansas to the White House.

Library Journal

Clinton books have been as ubiquitous as photos of the president in jogging shorts and ill-fitting suits. Maraniss's biography similarly suffers more from overexposure than content. Most of the book examines Clinton's educational roots-from high school, where he graduated fourth, not first, in his class through Georgetown, Oxford, and Yale universities. Washington Post reporter Maraniss is at his best portraying Clinton as a product of the 1960s, when his life experiences and views were tempered by liberalism. He was tormented, as were so many of his peers, by the possibility of being drafted to serve in Vietnam; his actions were buffeted by wanting to avoid service without becoming involved in protests that could haunt his political career. This sympathetic portrait concludes with Clinton's decision to seek the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination. Maraniss's book complements John Brummett's Highwire (LJ 9/15/94), which also sees Clinton as a product of either his educational or geographical roots. The large number of existing Clinton titles and his declining popularity may make this book a tough sell. For public libraries.
-- Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA

Library Journal

Clinton books have been as ubiquitous as photos of the president in jogging shorts and ill-fitting suits. Maraniss's biography similarly suffers more from overexposure than content. Most of the book examines Clinton's educational roots-from high school, where he graduated fourth, not first, in his class through Georgetown, Oxford, and Yale universities. Washington Post reporter Maraniss is at his best portraying Clinton as a product of the 1960s, when his life experiences and views were tempered by liberalism. He was tormented, as were so many of his peers, by the possibility of being drafted to serve in Vietnam; his actions were buffeted by wanting to avoid service without becoming involved in protests that could haunt his political career. This sympathetic portrait concludes with Clinton's decision to seek the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination. Maraniss's book complements John Brummett's Highwire (LJ 9/15/94), which also sees Clinton as a product of either his educational or geographical roots. The large number of existing Clinton titles and his declining popularity may make this book a tough sell. For public libraries.
-- Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA

What People Are Saying

Robert A. Caro
David Maraniss has written a compelling, vivid portrait of a very complex man. First in His Class is, moreover, a work of great integrity, notable for the scrupulousness of its documentations, which shines forth from every page.
— Robert A. Caro, author of Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

Interesting textbook: Getting Things Done or We Bought a Zoo

On Religious Liberty: Selections from the Works of Roger Williams

Author: Roger Williams

Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his refusal to conform to Puritan religious and social standards, Roger Williams established a haven in Rhode Island for those persecuted in the name of the religious establishment. He conducted a lifelong debate over religious freedom with distinguished figures of the seventeenth century, including Puritan minister John Cotton, Massachusetts governor John Endicott, and the English Parliament.

James Calvin Davis gathers together important selections from Williams's public and private writings on religious liberty, illustrating how this renegade Puritan radically reinterpreted Christian moral theology and the events of his day in a powerful argument for freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. For Williams, the enforcement of religious uniformity violated the basic values of Calvinist Christianity and presumed upon God's authority to speak to the individual conscience. He argued that state coercion was rarely effective, often causing more harm to the church and strife to the social order than did religious pluralism.

This is the first collection of Williams's writings in forty years reaching beyond his major work, The Bloody Tenent, to include other selections from his public and private writings. This carefully annotated book introduces Williams to a new generation of readers.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Violent Politics or The CEO of the Sofa

Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism, and Guerilla War, from the American Revolution to Iraq

Author: William R Polk

In the current Middle East, insurgency tactics are used with frequency and increasing success. But guerrilla war-fare is not just the tool of modern-day terrorists. Its roots stretch back to our very own revolution.

In Violent Politics, William Polk takes us on a concise, brilliant tour of insurgencies throughout history, starting with the American struggle for independence, when fighters had to battle against both the British and the loyalists, those colonists who sided with the monarchy. Instinctively, in a way they probably wouldn't have described as a coherent strategy, the rebel groups employed the tactics of insurgency.

From there, Polk explores the role of insurgency in several other notable conflicts, including the Spanish guerrilla war against Napoleon, the Irish struggle for independence, the Algerian War of National Independence, and Vietnam. He eventually lands at the present day, where the lessons of this history are needed more than ever as Americans engage in ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq—and beyond.

Kirkus Reviews

A captivating but disquieting examination of how insurgencies begin, grow, persist and either succeed or fail. Former State Department advisor Polk (The Birth of America: From Before Columbus to the Revolution, 2006, etc.) accompanies a dozen accounts of national uprisings with eye-opening and remarkably similar explanations of their history. Initially, insurgents are too few for organized resistance so they fight as terrorists-American colonists' opposition to British taxation in the 1770s qualifies. When the dominant government tries to suppress terrorism, it inevitably disrupts lives and kills innocent bystanders, thereby producing recruits seeking vengeance. Vicious Nazi reprisals, executing hundreds of civilians to avenge a single German soldier, only fed resistance in Yugoslavia, Russia and Greece. Despite a policy of not harming civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, America's immense firepower has accomplished the same thing. To succeed, a growing insurgency must win recognition as the nationalist movement. Ho Chi Minh's forces had achieved this by 1945, Polk concludes, so American intervention was doomed from the start. Insurgents fail if, like the Irish Republican Army and the Basque separatists, they don't win over most of their countrymen, and full-blown insurgencies disrupt the administration of the dominant power. By the 1960s, the Viet Cong had murdered so many local officials that South Vietnam's government virtually ceased to function outside Saigon. The American colonies' committees of safety expelled British officials and loyalists and set up their own local governments. After listing insults directed at insurgents (bandits, thugs, terrorists, anarchists, communists,religious fanatics), the author convincingly drives home his point: Nationalism trumps ideology. Marshall Tito in Yugoslavia was communist, but almost all his fighters simply hated Germans. Most Iraqi insurgents are no more religious than the average citizen. Once people see their rulers as foreign or dominated by foreigners, an insurgency that has achieved national acceptance is essentially unbeatable. Readers hoping America can win hearts and minds in Iraq and Afghanistan will find no encouragement here. A lucid, absorbing analysis of the theory and reality underpinning three centuries of insurgent movements.

Go to: Fireside Politics or Perspectives on Organizational Communication

The CEO of the Sofa

Author: P J ORourk

New York Times bestselling author P.J. O'Rourke has toured the fighting in Bosnia, visited the West Bank disguised as P.J. of Arabia, lobbed one-liners on the battlefields of the Gulf War, and traded quips with Communist rebels in the jungles of the Philippines. Now in The CEO of the Sofa, he embarks on a mission to the most frightening place of all - his own home. Ensconced on the domestic boardroom's throne (although not supposed to put his feet on the cushions), he faces a three-year-old who wants a cell phone, a freelance career devoted to writing articles like "Chewing-Mouth Dogs Bring Hope to People with Eating Disorders," and neighbors who smell like Democrats ("That is, using smell as a transitive verb. When I light a cigar they wave their hands in front of their faces and pretend to cough."). Undaunted - with the help of martinis - by middle age, P.J. holds forth on everything from getting toddlers to sleep ("Advice to parents whose kids love the story of the dinosaurs: Don't give away the surprise ending") to why Hillary Clinton's election victory was a good thing ("We Republicans were almost out of people to hate in the Senate. Teddy Kennedy is just too old and fat to pick on").

And P.J. leaps (well, groans and pushes himself up) from the couch to pursue assignments such as a high-speed drive across the ugliest part of India at the hottest time of the year, a blind (drunk) wine tasting with Christopher Buckley, and a sojourn at the U.N. Millennial Summit, where he runs the risk of perishing from boredom and puts readers in peril of laughing themselves to death.

Publishers Weekly

Not content to rest on his laurels, the bestselling humorist O'Rourke (All the Trouble in the World, etc.) instead settles back on his caustic couch to offer a wide-angled worldview from his own living room, his salon of sarcasm. He introduces readers to his assistant, friends, family and smart-aleck babysitter, as he reflects on such topics as cell phones ("People are willing to interrupt anything, including hiding under the bed, to answer a cell phone"), Christmas catalogues, Instant Messaging, MP3s, Nasdaq, toddlers, TV and how the "Gettysburg Address" would have turned out if written on an iMac. On a serious note, he praises the "philosophical legerdemain" of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He also reviews the "profound cogitations" of Hillary Clinton's 1995 It Takes a Village ("Some kinds of stupidity cannot be faked"), compares Vegas's Venetian resort to the real Venice ("Will video poker ever inspire a novella by Thomas Mann?") and contemplates the results of bias-free language ("What a piece of work is person!"). For "senior-management types," one hilarious chapter explains youth culture and current celebs, including Moby, Eminem, Carson Daly, Hilary Swank and Beck: "Beck dropped out of school after junior high so we can't blame the dot-com mess on him personally." Though his vitriolic wit is couched in humor that elicits the gamut from giggles to guffaws, O'Rourke never cushions its impact. The comedic crescendo is his centerpiece, a summary of mankind's achievements at millennium's end. This insightful (yet also funny) essay alone is worth the price of admission. (Sept.) Forecast: The 150,000 first printing is backed up with an appealing cover photo, a $150,000promotional budget, a national ad campaign, an 18-city author tour plus online promotion. O'Rourke will undoubtedly find himself on the bestseller list again. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Library Journal

In The CEO of the Sofa, O'Rourke shows that while he may be having trouble remembering the story of his life, he certainly hasn't lost one iota of his wit. He uses this book to point out, with heaps of sarcasm, the horrors of the cell phone, the UN, MP3 files, and childbirth. When his alterego, the political nut, takes over, you know which way the chad will fall as he discusses the absurdities of recent political history. O'Rourke has a gift for taking a mundane assignment and turning it into the funniest story you've ever heard and he does this nonstop. His tale on traveling through India is worth the price of the program. And who else would think of doing an essay on blind-drunk wine tasting? The author's humor works on both sides of the political aisle, and to make it even better, Dick Hill's performance is perfect. Highly recommended for all libraries we can all use a laugh these days. Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

O'Rourke (Eat the Rich, 1998, etc.), sharpest of the right-wing comic writers-not a populous gang, to be sure-this time stays at home to deliver his caustic, frequently malevolent commentary. The stock characters who help the this domestic Republican Dagwood launch miscellaneous brickbats at "dupes," "bakeheads," "nooky-moochers," "hair farmers," "bird-brains," and a "hay-breath" include a clever spouse, assistant Max, a couple of offspring, and a teenage neighbor. There are a dozen chapters with monthly headings, though there's little relation to monthly events, in which O'Rourke unloads on disparate topics. Of course, there's the UN, Social Security, and Third Way Economics (with help from the Cato Institute). There's much ad hominem about the Clintons. (He alludes to the distaff Clinton as "that she-ape from New York State.") There are digressions regarding drugs, booze, art, and business management as well as connubial and parental matters. For no special reason, there is also a long, patently recycled piece about India. Venice as presented in Las Vegas is preferred to the Italian original. He proposes a campaign for a politically correct cause ("Slogan: 'Alzheimer's-Fergedaboutdit!' ") and waxes kind of enthusiastic about cigars (though a beat behind the craze). Throughout, O'Rourke is as self-assured as any New York mayor, grandly dissing any ideology insufficiently libertarian. Sometimes it's quite funny and sometimes, like the wine-tasting parody, it has no nose, no legs-it's simply jejune. One natural target for any other professional political japester, George W. Bush, is never approached-but no surprise there. By the final entry, for August 2001, the rant is no more thanbile. Conservatively speaking, O'Rourke's current patchwork is not up to his previous entries. But as Dave Barry's goofy, evil twin, he's still funnier than Pat Buchanan or Arianna Huffington. First printing of 150,000; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour

Table of Contents:
Chapter ISeptember 20001
Oliver Wendell Holmes has been agreeing with the CEO's opinions for nearly one hundred and fifty years
The CEO's wife does so less frequently
The CEO speaks on the subject of mobile phones in the manner of a 1959 curmudgeon inveighing against transistor radios
Imagine if cheap devices to broadcast noise for idiots had allowed idiots to broadcast noise in return
The UN is visited--a nice enough place until it was discovered by foreigners
Chapter IIOctober 200024
The CEO considers stock market investments and decides that risk may be involved
His wife suggests getting a job but wonders if anything is available in the field of monkey business
The CEO considers employment and decides that work may be involved
He conceives a brilliant idea for making his fortune by thinking like a toddler but cannot find a play group with a wet bar
Chapter IIINovember 200044
The candidates for the 2000 presidential election are given a thorough examination although the mainstream media are allowed to do the part involving a check for prostate enlargement
The mainstream media encounter themselves up there
Hillary Clinton is praised for her abilities as a GOP fund-raiser
The Political Nut, who often shows up in the CEO's household during the cocktail hour, thinks eBay could make political corruption more market-oriented
Chapter IVDecember 200062
The CEO argues that Las Vegas is superior to Venice as a vacation destination--having found himself in better shape after being pulled over in traffic by the Nevada Highway Patrol than he was after being pulled out of a canal by the Italian carabinieri
Christmas gifts are chosen
The CEO carefully inspects the catalog from Blunderwear--lingerie that would be a mistake for anyone other than the catalog models
Hillary Clinton is embraced again--not, thank goodness, in her lingerie
The CEO attempts to bring modern ideas of caring and compassion to great works of literature but discovers that banning the death penalty ruins many masterpieces
At the end of A Tale of Two Cities, Sidney Carton has to explain to his parole officer that he's become a better person
Chapter VJanuary 200177
Decadence is pondered and found to be a rotten old idea
The CEO begins an essay on how to get properly inebriated but realizes he has important research to do
He embarks, with his friend Chris Buckley, on a blind (drunk) wine tasting, the results of which have to be carried home flat on their backs in an SUV
The Political Nut beats a dead horse but Bill Clinton keeps whinnying
The impeachment is fondly remembered, and plans are made for a Bill Clinton/Ken Starr reunion tour
The CEO meditates upon hypocrisy and decides that you can't fake it
Chapter VIFebruary 2001108
The CEO is perplexed by the quantitative nature of modern celebrity and wonders how many times Thomas De Quincey would have to be arrested for opium eating to become as famous as Robert Downey, Jr.
The CEO is--thanks to the miracle of modern car alarms--able to teach his teenage godson how to parallel park by sonar
The CEO lectures his young assistant on the virtues of the automobile: Consider having a hot date and needing to borrow your father's feet
Chapter VIIMarch 2001136
The CEO intends to write his memoirs but forgets
He helps with his godson's homework instead, asking, "What's all this argle-bargle about the loss of certainty in modern mathematics? I was never able to get anything to add up the same way twice."
The CEO explains the concept of "spring break" to his godson who hears the lyrics of "Where the Boys Are" with disbelief and disputes the idea that Connie Francis and George Hamilton were ever teenagers
Chapter VIIIApril 2001159
The Democrats next door are vanquished by the CEO's logic and are forced to resort to low political tactics such as not letting the CEO borrow their string trimmer
As an Oprah guest, Hitler is suggested: a larger-than-life personality who wrote a popular book about his struggle with personal issues
The CEO argues against legalizing drugs, now that the statute of limitation has expired on his behavior in the 1960s
Then the CEO argues in favor of legalizing drugs, if the federal government promises not to tell his wife
Chapter IXMay 2001178
A new baby-sitter arrives on the scene causing romantic disturbance--for those in love with Keynesian economic assumptions
The CEO reveals his secret for avoiding stardom as a television commentator
The CEO holds forth on the proponents of Earth Day and declares them "Dirt of the Earth."
Counsel is consulted and a brief is filed on missile defense
The CEO prefers a plea of guilty rather than nolo contendere
The CEO's baby-sitter and young assistant are chastised for swiping tunes with MP3 technology--especially since none of the tunes swiped is "Volare" or "Moon River."
San Francisco passes a law forbidding discrimination against the fat, and the CEO is outraged that the lazy aren't included
Chapter XJune 2001203
A blessed event occurs consisting of the arrival, in plain brown wrapper, of cigars from Cuba
The CEO's wife has a baby, too
The CEO's godson finds there are difficulties in dating a young lady who can do risk-analysis computations
Breast feeding is an excellent method of getting a big baby to sleep, but the CEO is up in the middle of the night anyway
The second anniversary of the air war in Kosovo is celebrated with suitable pomp
The CEO declares the e-mail fad has run its course and buys stock in the Mimeograph corporation
Wives are praised for not killing their husbands, particularly the husband the CEO's wife is married to
Chapter XIJuly 2001225
India is traversed and the wild Indians are ... well, let's just say Dancing with Wolves got it all wrong
The CEO proposes that an inexpensive second honeymoon could be had right in the living room if a second bottle of scotch can be procured
The CEO's wife goes in search of the keys to the gun cabinet
Chapter XIIAugust 2001247
The CEO's godson's sister experiences rather more enlightenment than can stand the light of day
The Political Nut counters with a more sensitive and less judgmental upgrade of the Ten Commandments
Good feelings prevail
The Political Nut decides to apologize for all the horrible things he's said about Democrats--especially the true things
The baby-sitter tutors the CEO's godson in the higher mathematics of: [characters not reproducible]
The CEO's young assistant gets a real job
Hunter S. Thompson is shown, through rigorous textual analysis of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, to be a heck of a nice guy
The CEO's wife gets the CEO to shut up
A happy ending is had by all

Friday, November 27, 2009

Regions and Powers or Global Oil Market

Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security

Author: Barry Buzan

Asserting that regional patterns of security are increasingly important in international politics, this study presents a detailed account of relations between global powers. It emphasizes their relationship with the regional security complexes which make up the contemporary international system. The book analyzes Africa, the Balkans, Eastern and Western Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, North America and South Asia, tracing the history of each region through the present.

Go to: The Home Science Cook Book or Amanda Rorys Favorite Recipes

Global Oil Market: Risks and Uncertainties

Author: Anthony H Cordesman

The future of energy is of enormous strategic importance, and the current energy market faces major uncertainties and risks. The goal of this study is to provide a risk assessment of the global oil market. Cordesman and Al-Rodhan study six major oil-producing regions of the world: the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, North America, and South and Central America. In each case, the authors outline national oil developments and focus on four major areas of risks and uncertainties: macroeconomic fluctuations, geopolitical risks, oil production uncertainties, and the nature of resources.

In addition to these uncertainties, the authors study the effect of robust energy modeling by agencies such as the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Agency. They argue that rigorous, transparent, and credible analysis can improve understanding of the global energy markets and help provide policymakers with the tools needed to forge sound and realistic energy policies.

The Global Oil Market is the first study of its kind to look at the totality of production, resource, and geopolitical risks faced by the world's oil-producing regions. In addition, Cordesman and Al-Rodhan look toward the future and how to best manage these uncertainties and risks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

American Media Politics in Transition or Generalist Social Work Practice

American Media Politics in Transition

Author: Jeremy D Mayer

Part of the McGraw-Hill Critical Topics in American Government series, American Media Politics in Transition blends coverage of the historical evolution of American political journalism with theories about its current practice and the emerging technological changes that have begun to bring media power back to the people. Its flexible, self-contained chapters feature discussion questions, suggestions for further readings, online resources, and a list of key terms and figures - all of which come together to make this an ideal supplement for any introductory American Government course, as well as courses on the media and communications.

Books about: Complete Book of Vegetarian Recipes or Seasoned With Words a Cookbook

Generalist Social Work Practice: An Empowering Approach

Author: Karla Krogsrud Miley


The fifth edition of this innovative text continues to emphasize a generalist, empowerment-oriented approach, along with practice strategies and techniques for working toward individual client and social change.


Highlights of the Fifth Edition:

·        The integration of material on practice, human behavior, policy, and research makes this text a unifying piece of any social work curriculum and a good fit for the new CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

·        New boxes in each chapter highlight the connection between practice, policy, and research.

·        Sensitizes students to human diversity and ways to increase cultural competence in practice.

·        The comprehensive instructor's manual and test bank, written by the authors, completely outlines the book and offers activities, exercises, and handouts for each chapter.



What Reviewers Are Saying:

“The major strengths of this text include the following: (1) a generalist framework that reflects the multi-faceted nature of contemporary social work practice; (2) an empowerment-orientedapproach that views clients as partners in the helping process; (3) a readable style that is accessible to a broad audience; (4) fundamental concepts that are applicable to a wide range of social work practice environments.”


--Andrew Scharlach, University of California–Berkeley



“Overall, I consider this to be an excellent text. The best one I have yet found for use in teaching generalist practice concepts, process, and methods….”


--Cynthia Bishop, Meredith College




[ ]


Focusing on collaboration, a textbook discusses empowering processes that generalist social workers use with clients at the micro-, mid- and macrolevels of practice. Topics include the strengths perspective, cultural sensitivity, the process of creating alliances, ways to identify client system strengths and environmental resources, and methods for implementing and stabilizing change efforts. The authors maintain that an empowerment-based approach can enhance human functioning and promote social justice. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Table of Contents:
1Generalist social work practice3
2The ecosystems perspective24
3Values and multicultural competence53
4Strengths and empowerment79
5An empowering approach to generalist practice103
6Forming partnerships129
7Articulating situations158
8Defining directions189
9Identifying strengths219
10Assessing resource capabilities248
11Framing solutions288
12Activating resources319
13Creating alliances351
14Expanding opportunities384
15Recognizing success409
16Integrating gains436
AppNASW code of ethics465

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Rise and Fall or Armed America

My Rise and Fall

Author: Benito Mussolini

Here for the first time in one volume, are two rare autobiographical works by Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), founder of Fascism and Italian dictator for 21 years. The first volume (published in English in 1928 as My Autobiography) describes in the Duce's own inimitable voice his youth, years as an agitator and journalist, experiences in World War I (including his severe wounding), the formation and revolutionary struggles of the Fascist Party, the March on Rome, and his early years in power. The second volume (published in English in 1948 as The Fall of Mussolini) was written during the brief period between his rescue by the Germans in September 1943 and his execution by Italian partisans in April 1945. The Duce retreats to the safe (but psychologically revealing) distance of the third person in describing his last year in power and the coup d'etat that deposed him. My Rise and Fall allows readers to view the dictator from two unique vantage points: Il Duce, eyes on the horizon, chin thrust forward, as he nears his political zenith; and Mussolini at his nadir, a desperate, powerless, sawdust Caesar, soon to be shot and hanged, head down, for all to scorn.

NY Times Book Review

[A work] of extraordinary interest and importance.

NY Times Book Review

[A work] of extraordinary interest and importance.

New interesting book: Gods Long Summer or Financial Institutions Markets and Money 10e

Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie

Author: Clayton E Cramer

In this true story of our nation's love affair with firearms, Clayton E. Cramer debunks the myths and takes readers along a winding historical trail full of surprising revelations and riveting anecdotes, explaining the roots of America's gun culture.

Publishers Weekly

Cramer, an adjunct lecturer in history at Boise State University and George Fox University, took on Michael Bellesiles even before his book Arming America was discredited, and now goes further to prove wrong Bellesiles's claim that guns were uncommon in early America. Cramer finds that guns "were the norm" in that period, people relied on guns to hunt, and gun ownership was key to the success of colonial militias. His most intriguing argument is that, as they became "tied to defending political rights," guns also became a symbol of citizenship. Cramer draws on many primary sources, from newspaper accounts to probate records, and compiles impressive data supporting his case. Still, he misses many opportunities for analysis and interpretation. For example, he finds that it was "not terribly unusual" for free women to own guns, but offers no nuanced discussion of what said gun ownership tells us about gender roles. His attack on academia-which, in Cramer's view, has been blinded by ideology and excludes political conservatives-distracts from his central theme and will only alienate pro-gun-control readers, leaving him with an equally narrow, if opposite, readership. (Feb. 6) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This House Has Fallen or When States Fail

This House Has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis

Author: Karl Maier

To understand Africa, you have to understand Nigeria, and few Americans understand Nigeria better than Karl Maier. In the tradition of Philip Gourevitch's bestselling We Regret to Inform You... and Redmond O'Hanlon's No Mercy, This House Has Fallen is a bracing, disturbing, evocative report on the state of Africa's most populous, potentially richest, and most dangerously dysfunctional nation.

Each year, with depressing consistency, Nigeria is declared the most corrupt state in the entire world. A nation into which billions of dollars of oil money flow, Nigeria's per capita income has dramatically fallen in the past two decades. All of the money has been stolen by elites. Also stolen has been democracy. Nigeria's leaders tend to elect themselves, often with the help of a gun. Military coup follows military coup. A rare democratic election is often merely a prelude to the next seizure of power by a general who wants greater access to the state's rapidly depleted vaults. A country of rising ethnic tensions and falling standards of living, Nigeria is a bellwether for Africa. And yet some think it is on the verge of utter collapse, a collapse that could overshadow even the massacres in Rwanda.

A brilliant piece of reportage and travel writing, this book looks into the Nigerian abyss and comes away with insight, profound conclusions, and even some hope.

Africa Confidential - Patrick Smith

Maier deftly combines history, journalism, and a novelist's eye for detail to tell the Nigerian story, but most of all he lets the country's diverse and energetic voices speak for themselves.

Financial Times - Michael Holman

If you care about Africa, if you are fearful for its future, baffled by its complexity, astonished by its resilience, read This House Has Fallen by Karl Maier. Few reporters can match the author's capacity to get to the heart of a nation and assess the hopes and fears of its people.


Maier (author of the internationally well-received Into the House of the Ancestors, 1998) explores the promise and paradox of Nigeria, a nation of fractious ethnic groups, legendary corruption, and bountiful resources, overseen by dictators for all but 0 years since its independence in 1960….This is a revealing look at a complex and troubled nation.

Publishers Weekly

Maier puts a human face on a disheartening situation that seems remote and impersonal to most Americans.

The Economist - Richard Dowden

To most of us Nigeria is a mysterious country, hot, scary, and a long way off. Coolly, clearly, Maier tells its extraordinary story; sometimes horrifying, often hilarious, never boring. If it offers little hope for Nigeria, this book inspires admiration for the resilience, resourcefulness, and humanity of Nigerians. The best book on contemporary Africa for years.


It has become a clich<'e> that Nigeria is the most corrupt nation in Africa, even in the world <-->a nation receiving billions of petrodollars while 90 percent of the populace slogs through poverty thick as oil; a country so shot through by repeated military coups and political corruption it faces collapse. Maier, a reporter with a respectable list of books and journal articles behind him, introduces readers to Nigeria's military leaders, its soldiers for democracy, and its peoples<-->the Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Tivs, and Ijaws. Through them, conflicts are investigated: that between Big Oil and the Ijaw and the Ogoni (recall the story of Ken Saro- Wiwa), between Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria over the move to impose Islamic law, and Yoruban youth in Lagos demanding a separate Yoruban state. Geared toward a generally educated, rather than an academic audience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Financial Times - Michael Holman

If you care about Africa, if you are fearful for its future, baffled by its complexity, astonished by its resilience, read This House Has Fallen by Karl Maier . . . Few reporters can match the author's capacity to get to the heart of a nation and assess the hopes and fears of its people.

Mother Jones

With a firm grasp of Nigeria's embattled past -- military coups, secessionist uprisings, clashes in the oil-rich Niger River Delta -- Maier examines the nation's cracked foundation and broken pillars.

The Economist - Richard Dowden

To most of us Nigeria is a mysterious country, hot, scary and a long way off. Cooly, clearly, Maier tells its extraordinary story; sometimes horrifying, often hilarious, never boring. If it offers little hope for Nigeria, this book inspires admiration for the resilience, resourcefulness and humanity of Nigerians. The best book on contemporary Africa for years.

Business Week

. . . THIS HOUSE HAS FALLEN is the absorbing, heartbreaking story of Nigeria from its creation in 1960 through forty years of failure and disappointment to a time of renewal--apparent renewal, we had better say. Maier's firm grip on history and keen journalistic eye produce an analysis that is grimly realistic. [He] captures the sorrows and laughter of a nation that is desperate and resilient all at once.

Kirkus Reviews

Vivid scenes from a potential meltdown, as veteran Africa reporter Maier (Into the House of the Ancestors, 1997) gives the history of Nigeria and suggests that regional tensions and pervasive corruption threaten its survival. Like many journalists, Maier is at his best when reporting on events or interviewing newsmakers and ordinary citizens. He is less successful at making those incisive connections that transform reportage into history. Nigeria, which he describes as "perhaps the largest failed state in the Third World," was only formed in 1914, when the British united the tribes of the Niger delta with those of the north and central region. These tribes had, and continue to have, little in common: the northerners are mostly Muslim and (because they dominate the military) have led most of the post-independence governments that seized power unconstitutionally. Delta tribes like the Ogoni were once enriched by trade—first in slaves and then in palm oil—but they have lately failed to benefit from the oil discovered in the region. The central tribes, mostly Christian, resent the role of the northerners in the coups that have roiled Nigeria, and their efforts to establish Muslim law—the Sharia. Maier visits each region and talks with its leaders and community activists. He meets General Babangida (whose decision to annul elections in 1993 provoked a national crisis) and the family of noted writer and Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (who was executed in 1995 despite an international outcry). He notes that although Nigeria has earned $280 billion from its oil, at least half the population is poor and lacks access to clean water. Literacy is below that of the DemocraticRepublic ofCongo, and a wealthy ten percent enrich themselves at the expense of the rest. The current ruler, former General Obasanjo, was democratically elected in 1999, and Maier believes (although he is unable to convey much conviction after this depressing litany) that he represents Nigeria's last chance to avoid falling apart. A quick and lively study that doesn't dig too deep.

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When States Fail: Causes and Consequences

Author: Robert I Rotberg

Since 1990, more than 10 million people have been killed in the civil wars of failed states, and hundreds of millions more have been deprived of fundamental rights. The threat of terrorism has only heightened the problem posed by failed states. When States Fail is the first book to examine how and why states decay and what, if anything, can be done to prevent them from collapsing. It defines and categorizes strong, weak, failing, and collapsed nation-states according to political, social, and economic criteria. And it offers a comprehensive recipe for their reconstruction.

The book comprises fourteen essays by leading scholars and practitioners who help structure this disparate field of research, provide useful empirical descriptions, and offer policy recommendations. Robert Rotberg's substantial opening chapter sets out a theory and taxonomy of state failure. It is followed by two sets of chapters, the first on the nature and correlates of failure, the second on methods of preventing state failure and reconstructing those states that do fail. Economic jump-starting, legal refurbishing, elections, the demobilizing of ex-combatants, and civil society are among the many topics discussed.

All of the essays are previously unpublished. In addition to Rotberg, the contributors include David Carment, Christopher Clapham, Nat J. Colletta, Jeffrey Herbst, Nelson Kasfir, Michael T. Klare, Markus Kostner, Terrence Lyons, Jens Meierhenrich, Daniel N. Posner, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Donald R. Snodgrass, Nicolas van de Walle, Jennifer A. Widner, and Ingo Wiederhofer.

Foreign Affairs

The failure of nation-states is nothing new. But in the age of global terrorism, the consequences of state failure for the international order are potentially much more damaging than ever before. This volume brings together experts to explore the problem of weak states in the developing world and to offer ideas about how to strengthen rights and rule. It is most useful in providing a framework for diagnosing the ailments that afflict states in various stages of decay in Africa, Asia, and Latin America: weak states fail to provide key public goods such as security, law, property rights, banks, schools, and hospitals; failed states (Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire, the Taliban's Afghanistan) are characterized by chronic violence, corruption, deteriorating infrastructure, and predatory ruling regimes; and in collapsed states (Lebanon in the 1970s, Somalia in the 1980s, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the 1990s), rule by the gun wipes away any pretense of public authority.

The authors identify many causes of state failure, but almost all cases are associated with civil violence and the rise of warring nonstate groups flush with revenue from minerals or narcotics. The international community can often help resuscitate failed states by sponsoring elections and committing to long-term security protection. But several contributors warn that, in the worst instances, major powers and the United Nations must be willing to "decertify" failed states while parties disarm and the country is put back together.

Table of Contents:
List of Maps
1The Failure and Collapse of Nation-States: Breakdown, Prevention, and Repair1
Pt. 1The Causes and Prevention of Failure51
2Domestic Anarchy, Security Dilemmas, and Violent Predation: Causes of Failure53
3The Global-Local Politics of State Decay77
4The Economic Correlates of State Failure: Taxes, Foreign Aid, and Policies94
5The Deadly Connection: Paramilitary Bands, Small Arms Diffusion, and State Failure116
6Prevention State Failure135
Pt. 2Post-Failure Resuscitation of Nation-States151
7Forming States after Failure153
8Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration: Lessons and Liabilities in Reconstruction170
9Establishing the Rule of Law182
10Building Effective Trust in the Aftermath of Severe Conflict222
11Civil Society and the Reconstruction of Failed States237
12Restoring Economic Functioning in Failed States256
13Transforming the Institutions of War: Postconflict Elections and the Reconstruction of Failed States269
14Let Them Fail: State Failure in Theory and Practice: Implications for Policy302

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fear of Small Numbers or The Way Home

Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger

Author: Arjun Appadurai

The period since 1989 has been marked by the global endorsement of open markets, the free flow of finance capital and liberal ideas of constitutional rule, and the active expansion of human rights. Why, then, in this era of intense globalization, has there been a proliferation of violence, of ethnic cleansing on the one hand and extreme forms of political violence against civilian populations on the other?

Fear of Small Numbers is Arjun Appadurai’s answer to that question. A leading theorist of globalization, Appadurai turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary “war on terror.” Providing a conceptually innovative framework for understanding sources of global violence, he describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile, slippery relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference.

Appadurai analyzes the darker side of globalization: suicide bombings; anti-Americanism; the surplus of rage manifest in televised beheadings; the clash of global ideologies; and the difficulties that flexible, cellular organizations such as Al-Qaeda present to centralized, “vertebrate” structures such as national governments. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Fear of Small Numbers is a thoughtful invitation to rethink what violence is in an age of globalization.

What People Are Saying

Charles Taylor
"Arjun Appadurai is already known as the author of striking new formulations which have greatly illuminated contemporary global developments, notably in Modernity at Large. In this new book, he tackles the most burning and perplexing problems of collective violence which beset us today. The book is alive with new and original ideas, essential food for thought not just for scholars, but for all concerned with these issues."
author of Modern Social Imaginaries

Partha Chatterjee
"In this book, Appadurai follows up Modernity at Large with a look into the seamy side of globalization. Analysing the growing inequalities and endemic violence of the past decade, he still sees signs of hope in less noticed trends of 'globalization from below.' These are important new thoughts from an influential thinker of our times."
Director, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York

Go to: Geekonomics or Murachs Visual Basic 2005

The Way Home: A German Childhood, an American Life

Author: Ernestine Bradley

In this moving and candid memoir we meet Ernestine Bradley, the wife of former senator and presidential hopeful Bill Bradley. She stood out among Senate wives: a German-born lover of languages and a transplant to America, Ernestine had a full-time career in New Jersey as a professor of comparative literature, commuted weekly to Washington, D.C., and ran two households—she was in constant motion.
As the book opens, Ernestine takes us to the small town of Passau, Germany, her childhood home, offering a vivid picture of ordinary German life during the Nazi period and just after World War II. As kids on the loose while the fathers were away at war and the mothers were working, Ernestine and her pals explored the town’s winding alleys and its three rivers, experiencing a sense of adventure and freedom (despite the privations of war) that would be a touchstone throughout her life. Ernestine vividly describes how she came to see opportunity in defeat as she watched the American troops roll through her little town; this was a primal moment that helped her to face everything that was to come. We follow her as she leaves West Germany, lands a glamorous job as an airline stewardess, and arrives in America, where she marries unhappily and divorces before finally meeting the basketball star and future senator. We watch their romance become an inspiring marriage of equals, his steadiness the perfect complement to her passionate, sometimes flaring nature, as their lives are soon crowded with family, the demands of their individual careers, politics, and, finally, Ernestine’s fight with breast cancer.
This is a wonderful, inspiring story from a woman who hastriumphed—both publicly and personally—against great odds. It is also the introduction to an exuberant voice, one that invites us to reflect on all that we have and on how far we may have to travel to find our way home.

Publishers Weekly

"Memories, to me, are like illuminated islands floating in an ocean of darkness," begins Bradley's memoir. Wife of Bill Bradley, the former senator and candidate for the 2000 presidential election, Ernestine Bradley recounts her rocky childhood in Germany during and after WWII and her move to the U.S. as an adult. Bradley's recollections of her childhood and adolescence in Germany provide an insightful portrait of a family in flux during the Nazi regime, but the flow of emotion is often interrupted by unnecessary parenthetical comments and uncertainty (e.g., "This I don't remember, but it makes sense"). Bradley's parents' intense-and at times unconventional-relationship is a focal point of the author's childhood confusion and adolescent resentment, and inspires heartfelt descriptions. Her strength is apparent as she describes her flight from the confines of her family-appropriately enough as an airline flight attendant-and her subsequent challenges as a wife, mother, academic (in the field of comparative literature) and breast cancer survivor. Her descriptions of her later life are short but accurately relay the difficulties she dealt with as a woman balancing a career and a family during the 1960s and '70s. While at times stiff and defensive, Bradley's memoir is a fine portrait of a childhood spent in wartime and an adult's search for true identity. Illus. Agent, Philippa Brophy. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Penelope Power - KLIATT

Ernestine Bradley's autobiography illustrates the value to the US of immigration. Growing up in Germany during WW II gave her a different outlook; her husband says in his autobiography that his wife "was a child of the defeat." Certainly she had a childhood that no native-born American had to experience. However, the thread throughout her book is not the German experience, but the family experience, a universal story. When she writes about mid-century German history she is clear and concise, as befits a professor of literature. When she writes about her own family, the emotional ties to her mother, father and stepfather, she is not so clear. Certainly her relationship with her mother was the most important influence in her life. The war colored her childhood, even if she did not understand the ramifications of the German defeat until she began teaching at Spellman College in Atlanta, in the early 1960s, after the collapse of her first marriage. She then began to appreciate the universal evil of racism through her growing awareness of the Holocaust: when she was growing up no mention was made of Germany's role in the murder of millions of Jews. The author has had experiences on many fronts, beginning with the care of a younger brother and sister at the end of the war. Breast cancer was diagnosed and treated in the early '90s; she has been cancer-free since. (She continues to talk about breast cancer on the lecture circuit.) She was active and involved in her husband's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. There is much more to Ernestine Bradley's life than immigration. We do, however, appreciate the determination and contribution of immigrants like her with similarstories to tell. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Random House, Anchor, 259p. illus., Ages 15 to adult.

Library Journal

From a childhood in Nazi Germany to work as an airline stewardess to a professorship in comparative literature and marriage to a basketball-playing senator. With a four-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The spouse of the former senator from New Jersey speaks about her history and emotional life. In an autobiography characterized by such thoughts, Ernestine Bradley reveals that sometimes she thinks of herself as "a mangrove tree with roots hanging in the air," a conceit prompted principally by her childhood in postwar Germany. What with American soldiers, ersatz sausages, lice, and a truck that was fueled by wood, it seems to have been the worst of times for kleine Wuschi and her family in the Bavarian town of Passau. She had, it appears, two fathers. There was the loving biological one, who was a member of the Luftwaffe, and then there was the hairdresser, a member of the Nazi party, who was a temporary loving father of convenience for a while. It's little wonder that an operatic attitude dominates the first part of this before-and-after story. In the 1950s, when she was 21 (and had excellent language skills), Ernestine emigrated to the US and the excitement of New York, working as a Pan Am stewardess. Soon, she was living in Atlanta, the wife of a physician and the parent of a daughter. But that life didn't work out. Next, divorced and back in New York, she met the smart pro basketball player. She joined the academic world and settled in New Jersey, married to terrific Bill Bradley. He is, she assures us, the best of husbands, especially during her victorious bout with breast cancer. There are certain lacunae, to be sure, with virtually nothing relating to Senator Bill's career or his run for the Oval Office. Rather, here's Oprah-style self-awareness, presented with careful skill. It might not have helped a presidential campaign, anyway. With its bit of Teutonic flavor, this isn't thestory of a typical Jersey Girl-nor is it the most unusual or gripping of revelatory journeys.