Sociology and Cultural Studies, General
Featured Items
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Paperback      ISBN: 067974195x

A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs's monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.

After Henry
After Henry
Paperback      ISBN: 0679745394

National Bestseller

Didion's reportorial pieces afford the pleasures of literature. . . . She is an expert geographer of the landscape of American public culture (The New York Times Book Review).

Here, Didion covers ground from Washington to Los Angeles, from a TV producer's gargantuan manor to the racial battlefields of New York's criminal courts.

At each stop she uncovers the mythic narratives that elude other observers: Didion tells us about the fantasies the media construct around crime victims and presidential candidates; she gives us new interpretations of the stories of Nancy Reagan and Patty Hearst; she charts America's rollercoaster ride through evanescent booms and hard times that won't go away.

A bracing amalgam of skepticism and sympathy, After Henry is further proof of Joan Didion's infallible radar for the true spirit of our age.
The Power of Myth
The Power of Myth
Paperback      ISBN: 0385418868

The national bestseller, now available in a non-illustrated, standard format paperback edition

The Power of Myth launched an extraordinary resurgence of interest in Joseph Campbell and his work. A preeminent scholar, writer, and teacher, he has had a profound influence on millions of people--including Star Wars creator George Lucas. To Campbell, mythology was the "song of the universe, the music of the spheres." With Bill Moyers, one of America's most prominent journalists, as his thoughtful and engaging interviewer, The Power of Myth touches on subjects from modern marriage to virgin births, from Jesus to John Lennon, offering a brilliant combination of intelligence and wit.

This extraordinary book reveals how the themes and symbols of ancient narratives continue to bring meaning to birth, death, love, and war. From stories of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome to traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, a broad array of themes are considered that together identify the universality of human experience across time and culture. An impeccable match of interviewer and subject, a timeless distillation of Campbell's work, The Power of Myth continues to exert a profound influence on our culture.
Social Movements Past and Present Series: Social Movements of the 1960s
Social Movements Past and Present Series
Social Movements of the 1960s
Paperback      ISBN: 0805797386

America was irrevocably changed by the 1960s civil rights, anti-war and feminist movements. This study examines them side by side, revealing their interdependence, common grassroots origins and cumulative impact. Burns clarifies how the struggle for black equality helped empower other causes and how the New Left gave rise to the peace movements as it fueled the tumultuous counterculture. He traces the history of each movement and makes conclusions about leadership, electoral politics and coalition-building.

Beer in America: The Early Years--1587-1840: Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation
Beer in America: The Early Years--1587-1840
Beer's Role in the Settling of America and the Birth of a Nation
Paperback      ISBN: 0937381659

One little-known aspect of early American history is the role of beer in its founding and formative years. This account of beer's imact on people and events that shaped the birth of a nation begins with the pre-colonial era and ends with America's emergence as an industrial power.

Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Killing the Black Body
Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Paperback      ISBN: 0679758690
Killing the Black Body remains a rallying cry for education, awareness, and action on extending reproductive justice to all women. It is as crucial as ever, even two decades after its original publication.

"Monumental. . . . An important contribution to the literature of civil rights, reproductive issues, racism and feminism." --San Francisco Chronicle

In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the Black Body exposed America's systemic abuse of Black women's bodies. From slave masters' economic stake in bonded women's fertility to government programs that coerced thousands of poor Black women into being sterilized as late as the 1970s, these abuses pointed to the degradation of Black motherhood--and the exclusion of Black women's reproductive needs in mainstream feminist and civil rights agendas.

"Compelling. . . . Deftly shows how distorted and racist constructions of black motherhood have affected politics, law, and policy in the United States." --Ms.
American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword
American Exceptionalism
A Double-Edged Sword
Paperback      ISBN: 0393316149

Born out of revolution, the United States has always considered itself an exceptional country of citizens unified by an allegiance to a common set of ideals, individualism, anti-statism, populism, and egalitarianism. This ideology, Professor Lipset observes, defines the limits of political debate in the United States and shapes our society.

American Exceptionalism explains why socialism has never taken hold in the United States, why Americans are resistant to absolute quotas as a way to integrate blacks and other minorities, and why American religion and foreign policy have a moralistic, crusading streak.
Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays
Sex, Art, and American Culture
Essays
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0679741011

The author shares her observations on date rape, sexual harassment, the decline of education and culture, and other key issues

Return of the Tribal: A Celebration of Body Adornment : Piercing, Tattooing, Scarification, Body Painting
Return of the Tribal
A Celebration of Body Adornment : Piercing, Tattooing, Scarification, Body Painting
Paperback      ISBN: 0892816104

A photographic exploration of the modern revival of piercing, tattooing, scarification, and body painting that reveals its origins in tribal culture and practices.
Since earliest times, tribal cultures around the world have used body marks and modifications to indicate membership and rank within the group, identify with spiritual totems, express sacrifice and loss, and enhance physical attraction and sexual enjoyment. Today we are witnessing a renaissance of interest in body adornment that many interpret as a return to our tribal beginnings--a way to identify who we are in an urban world that has lost its sense of community. Return of the Tribal takes a non-judgmental look at a great variety of practices of body adornment and modification--from prehistoric and aboriginal to those of modern urban tribals in cities such as London, New York, Tokyo, and Amsterdam. From the beautiful to the bizarre, the author shows the many beautiful and bizarre ways people choose to alter their appearance.

Dumbing Down: Essays on the Strip-Mining of American Culture
Dumbing Down
Essays on the Strip-Mining of American Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0393317234

With vigor, wit, learning, common sense, and urgency, twenty-three essayist--including John Simon, Cynthia Ozick, Phillip Lopate, George F. Kennan, Sven Birkerts, Joseph Epstein, and Brad Leithauser--examine aspects of our pan-cultural "dumbing down" and offer both diagnoses of and possible cures for this wasting disease.