The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy's most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.
In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucault's fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotle's notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over "life" is implicit.
The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitt's idea of the sovereign's status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed--a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective "naked life" of all individuals.
While making up a smaller percentage of Minnesota's population compared to national averages, African Americans have had a profound influence on the history and culture of the state from its earliest days to the present. Author David Taylor chronicles the rich history of Blacks in the state through careful analysis of census and housing records, newspaper records, and first-person accounts. He recounts the triumphs and struggles of African Americans in Minnesota over the past 200 years in a clear and concise narrative. Major themes covered include settlement by Blacks during the territorial and early statehood periods; the development of urban Black communities in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth; Blacks in rural areas; the emergence of Black community organizations and leaders in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries; and Black communities in transition during the turbulent last half of the twentieth century. Taylor also introduces influential and notable African Americans: George Bonga, the first African American born in the region during the fur trade era; Harriet and Dred Scott, whose two-year residence at Fort Snelling in the 1830s later led to a famous, though unsuccessful, legal challenge to the institution of slavery; John Quincy Adams, publisher of the state's first Black newspaper; Fredrick L. McGhee, the state's first Black lawyer; community leaders, politicians, and civil servants including James Griffin, Sharon Sayles Belton, Alan Page, Jean Harris, and Dr. Richard Green; and nationally influential artists including August Wilson, Lou Bellamy, Prince, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis. African Americans in Minnesota is the fourth book in The People of Minnesota, a series dedicated to telling the history of the state through the stories of its ethnic groups in accessible and illustrated paperbacks.
The challenges of working in an urban school are not for every teacher. Some get burnt out fast. Some lose sight of why they started teaching in the first place. Some find their calling in other neighborhoods...with other kids. But not Salome Thomas-El. A Teacher at Roberts Vaux Middle School in Philadelphia's inner city, he chose to stay. Gripping, poignant, and homest, this is his blistering real-life tale of mentoring and making a difference--and how the reformation of America's educational system can start with just one school.Praise for I Choose To Stay "An intensely moving story of loyalty and courage and a deeply pewrsonal tribute to the great potential of our inner-city kids, so frequently dismissed and denigrated by American society. The redemptive power of a teacher's love shines through these pages with prophetic grace. I am grateful to the author for the lesson of essential decency he teaches us" --Jonathan Kozol "This book is about courage. It is a story about determination, about compassion, love and the ultimate fight. This is the fight against the odds, against the 'system' and years of cultural, social and economic factors that would have allowed this group of inner-city kids to become nothing more than a set of statistics. But Salome Thomas-El would not let that happen. He would not give up. He saw the potential in them and he fought for them. he used a board game as a weapon in this figth." --From the forward by Arnold Schwarzenegger "A powerful story about what an inspirational teacher can do to open new horizons for economically disadvantaged young people" --William H. Gray, III, President, United Negro College Fund "This book shows how one dedicated educator who believes in th potential of all our kids can make a huge difference and how, under teh proper circumstances, urban education can work." --Edward G. Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Democratic National Convention "An eloquent example of how commitment and innovation can better the lives of inner-city children." --Kirkus Reviews
In each generation, for different reasons, America witnesses a tug of war between the instinct to suppress and the instinct for openness. Today, with the perception of a mortal threat from terrorists, the instinct to suppress is in the ascendancy. Part of the reason for this is the trauma that our country experienced on September 11, 2001, and part of the reason is that the people who are in charge of our government are inclined to use the suppression of information as a management strategy.Rather than waiting ten or fifteen years to point out what's wrong with the current rush to limit civil liberties in the name of "national security," these essays by top thinkers, scholars, journalists, and historians lift the veil on what is happening and why the implications are dangerous and disturbing and ultimately destructive of American values and ideals. Without our even being aware, the judiciary is being undermined, the press is being intimidated, racial profiling is rampant, and our privacy is being invaded. The "war on our freedoms " is just as real as the "war on terror "-and, in the end, just as dangerous.
The culmination of a unique achievement in modern American literature: the six volumes of autobiography that began more than thirty years ago with the appearance of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated. Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand. Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King's Poor People's March. But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party--where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heavenends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.
This is the moving and powerful account of tworemarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago'sHenry Horner Homes, a public housing complexdisfigured by crime and neglect."