Table of Contents is a collection of eight pieces that range from Alaska to New Jersey, describing, for example, the arrival of telephones in a small village near the Arctic Circle and the arrival of wild bears in considerable numbers in New Jersey, swarming in from the Poconos in search of a better life ("Riding the Boom Extension," "A Textbook Place for Bears").
In "North of the C.P. Line" the author introduces his friend John McPhee, a bush-pilot fish-and-game warden in northern Maine, who is also a writer. The two men met after the flying warden wrote to The New Yorker complaining that someone was using his name. Maine also is the milieu of "Heirs of General Practice," McPhee's highly acclaimed report--virtually a book in itself--on the new medical specialty called family practice. Much of it takes place in the examining rooms of a dozen young physicans in various rural communities, where they are seen in the context of their work with a great many patients of all ages.
Two relatively short pieces revisit the subjects of earlier McPhee books. "Ice Pond" demonstrates anew the innovative genius of the physicist Theodore B. Taylor, who developed a way of making and using with impressive results in the conservation of the electrical energy. "Open Man" describes a summer day in New Jersey in the company of Senator Bill Bradley.
In "Minihydro," various small-scale entrepreneurs in New York State set up turbines at nineteenth-century mill sites and sell electricity to power companies. A nice little country waterfall can earn as much as two hundred dollars a year for someone with such a turbine. And, "Under the Snow," McPhee Goes back into black bear's dens in Pensylvania in winter, where he becomes intoxicated with affection for some five-pound cubs. They remind him of his daughters.
"THE BRILLIANT AND CONTROVERSIAL CRITIQUE OF AMERICAN CULTURE WITH NEARLY A MILLION COPIES IN PRINT"
In 1987, eminent political philosopher Allan Bloom published "The Closing of the American Mind," an appraisal of contemporary America that "hits with the approximate force and effect of electroshock therapy" ("The New York Times") and has not only been vindicated, but has also become more urgent today. In clear, spirited prose, Bloom argues that the social and political crises of contemporary America are part of a larger intellectual crisis: the result of a dangerous narrowing of curiosity and exploration by the university elites.
Now, in this twenty-fifth anniversary edition, acclaimed author and journalist Andrew Ferguson contributes a new essay that describes why Bloom's argument caused such a furor at publication and why our culture so deeply resists its truths today.
"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."--Michel Foucault
John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members--among them priests, bishops, and even saints--when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, still fiercely relevant today, helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
In this witty, often terrifying work of cultural criticism, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation into a Technopoly: a society that no longer merely uses technology as a support system but instead is shaped by it--with radical consequences for the meanings of politics, art, education, intelligence, and truth.
One of the most talked-about books in years, A Nation of Victims established Charles Sykes as a persuasive, witty, and controversial commentator on American life and society. The plaint of the victim-- It's not my fault-- has become the loudest and most influential voice in America, an instrument of personal and lasting political change.
* Fired for consistently showing up late for work, a former school district employee sues, claiming he is a victim of "chronic lateness syndrome."
* Videotaped puffing on a pipe filled with crack cocaine, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry claims he is a victim of racism.
* In 1960, fewer than 100,000 lawsuits were filed in federal courts; in 1990, more than 250,000 were filed.
In this incisive, pugnacious, frequently hilarious book, Charles Sykes examines the erosion of our society and offers hope in the prospect of a culture of renewed character.
Do or Die is the first insider account of teenage gangs--the lives, loves, and battles of children who kill--from the only journalist ever allowed inside this closed and dangerous world.
This is no West Side Story. Welcome to a world where teenagers wear colostomy bags and have scrapbooks filled with funeral invitations; where a young man, after being shot in the chest, drives himself to the hospital; where another youngster, caught in crossfire, uses his girlfriend as a human shield; where teenage gangsters are kidnapped, tortured, and held for six-figure ransoms; where kids hum the latest movie's theme music while killing people. It's a world of clickheads, sherms, bangers, ballers, and mummyheads; a world where the strongest feelings of family come from other gang members; a world where the most potent feelings of self-worth come from murder.
The theme of this extraordinary book is the evolution of the modern conception of family life and the modern image; of the nature of children. Aries traces the evolution of the concept of childhood from the end of the Middle Ages, when the child was regarded as a small adult, to the present child-centered society, by means of diaries, paintings, games, and school curricula.Ironically, he finds that individualism, far from triumphing in our time, has been held in check by the family, and that the increasing power of the tightly-knit family circle has flourished at the expense of the rich-textured communal society of earlier times. Translated from the French by Robert Baldick.
From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today-and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood.Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into popular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds. Informative, alarming, and aphorisitc, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.
At the end of the Reconstruction, the spread of science and technology, industrialism, urbanization, immigration, and economic depressions eroded Americans' conventional beliefs in individualism and a divinely ordained social system. In The Search for Order, Robert Wiebe shows how, in subsequent years, during the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Americans sought the organizing principles around which a new viable social order could be constructed in the modern world. This subtle and sophisticated study combines the virtues of historical narrative, sociological analysis, and social criticism.