Robert Michael Pyle's Chasing Monarchs
by Kurt Jonhson 1999
Everyone loves Monarch butterflies or, at the very least, knows what they look like or something about them. Thus, everyone should love a good book about Monarchs, and, this one certainly fills the bill. The author, Dr. Robert Michael Pyle ("Bob" to thousands of lepidopterists and conservationists) is both a renowned nature writer (Burroughs Medal for Wintergreen, 1986) and a highly trained and capable scientist (PhD, Yale University). He has also been, for decades, a leader in conservation causes.
Alfred Maund's The Big Boxcar by Meredith Sue Willis 1999
The University of Illinois Press is doing a great service to readers with ethical and social concerns by reissuing a series of American radical novels of the mid-twentieth century. The Big Boxcar by Alfred Maund, originally published in 1957, is the ninth in the series. Maund, a Southern white man, has written three novels. This was his first, but at the time of writing, he was already an experienced labor journalist and editor as well as an active supporter of the Montgomery (Alabama) bus boycott and the Cuban Revolution.
Richard Rorty's Achieving Our Country by Marc Bernstein 1998
Who but Richard Rorty could examine the last hundred years of the American left in 140 pages? The eminent philosopher's new book, Achieving Our Country, is so packed with ideas (and so clearly written) that no thoughtful citizen should miss it.
Julie Schor's The Overspent American by Theresa Forsman 1998
How does buying a BMW, a Rolex, or a golf club membership affect your life and others' lives? You might say the car is safe transportation, the watch is a reliable timepiece -- one you've wanted since graduate school and that you've earned with all those late nights at the office. You might see the golf club membership as necessary for someone in your line of work, where deals are done on Saturdays at the 19th hole. Few of us come right out and admit, even to ourselves, that what we're buying is status. And few of us have calculated the true price of such status symbols.
Ann Jones' Women Who Kill by Phyllis Ehrenfeld 1996
jones | kill | women |
"Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her father forty whacks. Then she took another one, and gave her mother forty-one." Would the public forgive? Perhaps, but it helped if you were a lady. The most famous murderess in American history was found innocent in a court of law, in spite of both motive and evidence. Jones' detailed analysis of each of the cases she presents is as intriguing as a summary of a whodunit.
Roger Shattuck's Forbidden Knowledge by Marc Bernstein 1996
Scientific knowledge, humanists believe, liberates us from superstition, quackery and meddling theology. A call to restrain intellectual curiosity assails humanist ideals.
George Eliot's Felix Holt: The Radical by Meredith Sue Willis 1995
Young Harold Transome returns to England from the colonies with a self-made fortune, then scandalizes his district by running for Parliament as a Radical. In this elaborately plotted and entertaining novel first published in 1866, George Eliot contrasts the opportunism of Transome with the true radicalism of Felix Holt, who fights a lonely battle to educate the working class.
Michael Chitwood's The Weave Room by Meredith Sue Willis 1988
The recent growth of poetry readings, performance art, and poetry slam competitions points up the fact that even today the common reader needs poetry. Poetry--like all literary art but even more intensely-- is about deep connections and multi-layered insight.