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Bread and Circuses
Theories of Mass Culture As Social Decay
Patrick Brantlinger
Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories of mass culture, it ranges widely from Greek and Roman origins, through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Ortega y Gasset, T. S. Eliot, and the...

The Borscht Belt
Revisiting the Remains of America's Jewish Vacationland
The Borscht Belt, which features essays by Stefan Kanfer and Jenna Weissman Joselit, presents Marisa Scheinfeld's photographs of abandoned sites where resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York. 

"One winter I went with other teenagers to a convention at Grossinger's and remember my excitement at discovering the indoor swimming pool and the deep heat of their sauna. I recall that the whole place seemed to offer a wonderland of new experiences. I went to the convention again the next year, but I never went back after I left New York. There is a stark difference between my memory and the shell of a resort that exists today. But the past can be given form and detail by photography, and... cont'd

Class Divide
Yale '64 and the Conflicted Legacy of the Sixties
Howard Gillette
Howard Gillette Jr. draws on more than one hundred interviews with representative members of the Yale class of ’64 to examine how they were challenged by the issues that would define the...

David Farber, Temple University, author of Everybody Ought to Be Rich: The Life and Times of John J. Raskob, Capitalist

"Class Divide is an elegantly crafted account of the effect sixties-era cultural and political rebellion had on a very select group of Americans: the Yale class of 1964. Howard Gillette Jr.'s ability to put the lives of his classmates into sharply drawn historical contexts is quite remarkable. Gillette's subjects went on to do spectacular things and many became nationally known figures, which makes this tale particularly significant as a work of both historical scholarship and... cont'd

Casualties of History
Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War
Lee K. Pennington
In Casualties of History, Lee K. Pennington relates for the first time in English the experiences of Japanese wounded soldiers and disabled veterans of Japan's "long" Second World War (from 1937 to...

Alexander R. Bay - Medical History

"Casualties of History is an innovative study that draws upon hitherto unexplored sources, including a variety of visual materials that are reproduced as color plates in the mid-section of the book, and adds to a richer understanding of Japanese culture during the Asia-Pacific War."

The Consuming Temple
Jews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880–1940
Paul Lerner
Paul Lerner explores German anxieties about the department store and the widespread belief that they posed hidden dangers both to the individuals and to the nation as a...

Gerulf Hirt - Oxford Journals: German History

"This book does more than just providing another economic or business history of the rise of the centralized, rationalized and scientifically managed department store in Germany.... In comparison with the existing literature, which has often taken the 'Jewishness' of German department store owners for granted, Lerner excels at questioning and reflecting the multiple perspectives on the ‘figure of the Jew’ while analyzing their implications for the development of the German department store... cont'd

What Galileo Saw
Imagining the Scientific Revolution
Lawrence Lipking
Lawrence Lipking offers a new perspective on how to understand the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, emphasizing the role that imagination played in the birth of modern science and modern ways of viewing the...

William R. Shea - Isis

"The ten amusing and witty essays in What Galileo Saw, which are loosely connected and can be read independently, stem from the premise that if Christian time 'began with the Nativity of Christ, then another age, the dawn of modern times, began when Galileo looked through his spyglass' (p. 3). Lawrence Lipking deals with the cultural impact of the Scientific Revolution and does not claim to explain its genesis beyond recognizing three basic versions of the story."

The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish
Vengeance and Heresy in Medieval Ireland
Maeve Brigid Callan
Maeve Brigid Callan analyzes Ireland's medieval heresy trials, which all occurred in the volatile fourteenth century. These include the celebrated case of Alice Kyteler and her associates, prosecuted by Richard de Ledrede, bishop of Ossory, in...

Sarah J. Sprouse - Comitatus 47

"Callan's style is vivid and evocative of her level of comfort with the topic. Discussion of each trial relies heavily on descriptions from witness testimonies as well as the available legal records, allowing Callan to reconstruct the circumstances of each trial for her readership. Her deft handling of interdisciplinary approaches and the extensive usage of primary sources to set up the trials discussed makes this book an entertaining read for both students and seasoned scholars of Irish... cont'd

For Fear of an Elective King
George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789
Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon
In the spring of 1789, the Senate and House of Representatives fell into dispute regarding how to address the president. For Fear of an Elective King is Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon's rich account of the title controversy and its...

Benjamin A. Kleinerman - American Historical Review

"This book is tremendously rich in its historical account of the title controversy and in showing the dynamics of that controversy in a new and interesting way. The author reveals that a controversy that had previously seemed like nothing more than an odd 'sideshow' is actually illustrative of a fundamental shift inthe republican character of the country. She also demonstrates that the controversy played a decisive role in republicanizing the Constitution and, by doing so, making the... cont'd

Russian Formalism
A Metapoetics
Peter Steiner
Russian Formalism, one of the twentieth century's most important movements in literary criticism, has received far less attention than most of its rivals. Examining Formalism in light of more recent developments in literary theory, Peter Steiner here offers the most comprehensive critique of Formalism to date. Steiner studies the work of the...

Mass Violence and the Self
From the French Wars of Religion to the Paris Commune
Howard G. Brown
Mass Violence and the Self explores the earliest visual and textual depictions of personal suffering caused by the French Wars of Religion of 1562–98, the Fronde of 1648–52, the French Revolutionary Terror of 1793–94, and the Paris Commune of 1871. The development of novel media from pamphlets and woodblock printing to colored lithographs...

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