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Archive for November, 2013

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Contemporary Romanian Cinema and the Romanian Film Festival

Contemporary Romanian CinemaIn recent years, moviegoers have been become more aware of the innovative and inventive films coming from Romania. An in-depth analysis of the ferment in Romanian film can be found in our recently published Contemporary Romanian Cinema: The History of an Unexpected Miracle, by Dominique Nasta.

Romanian film is also getting a spotlight during this weekend’s 10th Romanian Film Festival in London: Turning the Page (Thu 28 Nov – Mon 2 Dec 2013), which brings the latest and most exciting productions from the the Romanian film industry. These films tell the story of a rapidly evolving society.

All films are in Romanian with English subtitles. Read the program here: www.rofilmfest.com
Screenings will take place at Curzon Soho (99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5DY); Buy tickets here: www.curzoncinemas.com/rff ; Tel. 0330 500 1331

Hugely popular actors and directors will lend their presence to the screenings: actor Victor Rebengiuc (Japanese Dog), actor and director Horatiu Malaele (Happy Funerals), actor Bogdan Dumitrache (When Evening Falls On Bucharest Or Metabolism), actors Dragos Bucur, Alexandru Papadopol and Dorian Boguta (Love Building), director Stere Gulea (I Am An Old Communist Hag), and director Adrian Sitaru (Domestic).

For more on the Romanian Film Festival, you can watch this trailer and get a glimpse of what’s in store in the Romanian Film Festival in London!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Doughnuts? A Thanksgiving Tradition? Apparently So.

Gastropolis, Thanksgiving in New York City

We culminate our week-long (or, at least short week) feature on Thanksgiving with a quick look at the holiday’s history in New York City.

In his chapter, “The Food and Drink of New York from 1624 to 1898,” from Gastropolis: Food and New York City, Andrew Smith describes the role both George Washington and doughnuts have played in how the holiday has been celebrated in New York City:

Although it had originated in New England, [Thanksgiving] was quickly adopted in communities throughout New York. Indeed, it was in New York City that President George Washington issued the first presiden­tial thanksgiving proclamation, which set aside Thursday, November 26, 1789, as a day of prayer and thanksgiving. New York was one of the first states outside New England to declare Thanksgiving an official holiday. In 1795, John Jay, the governor of New York, tried to establish a statewide thanksgiving day, and in 1817 it was finally recognized as a state holiday. Thanksgiving was celebrated with what is now considered the traditional meal of turkey, apple pie, mince pie, and cranberries; New Yorkers often added doughnuts and crullers to the menu. Thanksgiving holiday remained an important holiday throughout the nineteenth century. The Ladies Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church opened a mission in the gang-infested Five Points District, and on Thanksgiving Day, under the eyes of their bene­factors, the ladies paraded and fed hundreds of Sunday- school students.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Joseph Cirinicone Discusses the Iran Nuclear Deal on Rachel Maddow

Joseph Cirinicione, author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, was recently on The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the recent nuclear deal with Iran. Cirincione considers how Obama’s strategy of sanctions led to the deal, discusses Israel’s reaction and the widespread approval of the plan.

For more on Cirincione’s view on and support of the deal with Iran, you read his essay The Deal is for Real. Cirincione writes:

The deal Secretary John Kerry masterfully crafted in Geneva eliminates the threat Mr. Netanyahu said was his most serious concern. It completely stops the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent. It gets rid of all the uranium Iran had already enriched to this level. As a result, it doubles the time it would take Iran to dash to a bomb, plus it adds tough new daily inspections of the nuclear facilities that could spot any such dash, giving nations ample time to take appropriate actions.

But wait, there’s more. The deal basically freezes the Iranian program in place. It is not a complete suspension, but it makes sure that Iran cannot move ahead with its program while negotiations continue.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Talking Turkey with Herve This!

Thanksgiving, Turkey

“Use the dishwasher! For the next holiday meal, I recommend that you prepare two turkeys. Cook one in the dishwasher, in a plastic bag, for several cycles of your machine.”—Herve This

In highlighting our books on this blog, we like to think we provide some food for thought. Well, with Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, we thought we provide some more practical (or somewhat practical) advice on cooking a turkey from none other than Herve This, author of Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor and other titles on the science of food.

In a 2010 interview with Nature, This suggested the dishwasher as a possible cooking method:

Q: Another professional technique is to cook food for long periods at low temperatures in a vacuum-sealed bag. How might a home chef emulate this ‘sous-vide’ method?

Herve This: Use the dishwasher! For the next holiday meal, I recommend that you prepare two turkeys. Cook one in the dishwasher, in a plastic bag, for several cycles of your machine. In this way, you can get low temperatures. Butterfly the other turkey and cook it on the grill, creating the maximum expanse of delicious crispy skin. Then serve the moist, flavourful meat from the dishwasher turkey with the grilled skin. A good accompaniment would be foie gras, also cooked in the dishwasher at low temperature.

Now for those not comfortable with Maytag cuisine, here is an excerpt from Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking on the science of roasting a turkey:

Since it is juicy, tender meat that we want, it is clear why there is no question of opening the oven while the meat is roasting. The water vapor that is released in a limited quantity could escape and then be replaced by the vaporization of a certain quantity of the juices. Opening the oven dries out the turkey. Neither, however, should one humidify the oven before putting the turkey in. In the presence of too much water, the surface water cannot evaporate, and the skin will not get crispy.

Having thus resolved the problem of the surface, the serious problem of tenderness within remains. We cannot disappoint our guests, who fear the pro­verbial dryness of the turkey.

Since tenderness results necessarily from the deterioration of the connec­tive tissue, let us consider this tissue. It principally contains three kinds of pro­teins: collagen, already discussed many times, reticulin, and elastin. Neither reticulin or elastin are notably altered by the heat of the oven, but the triple helixes of the collagen molecules can be broken up and form gelatin, which is soft when it is in water, as we all know.

Calculating the cooking time requires some skill, because the denaturation of the collagen and the coagulation of the muscle proteins (actin and myosin, mainly) take place at different temperatures and different speeds in the different parts of the turkey. It is necessary to know that the temperature of 70° (158°F) is essential for transforming the collagen into gelatin and tenderizing the mus­cles. But the longer the turkey remains at a high temperature, the more water it loses and the more its proteins risk coagulating. The optimal cooking time, consequently, is the minimum time it takes to attain the temperature of 70°C (158°F) at the center of the turkey.

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Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

New Book Tuesday: Nuclear Iran, Contemporary U.S. Fiction, Arab Politics, Afghan Elections, and More New Titles!

Our weekly list of new titles now available:

Anticipating Nuclear Iran, Jacquelyn K. Davis and Robert L. PfaltzgraffAnticipating a Nuclear Iran: Challenges for U.S. Security
Jacquelyn K. Davis and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff Jr.

Toward the Geopolitical Novel: U.S. Fiction in the Twenty-First Century
Caren Irr

Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings
Frederic M. Wehrey

Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan: Elections in an Unstable Political Landscape
Noah Coburn and Anna Larson

The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan
Adam Clulow

Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam: The Originall & Progress of Mahometanism
Edited by Nabil Matar

A Perpetual Fire: John C. Ferguson and His Quest for Chinese Art and Culture
Lara Jaishree Netting

Why Aren’t They There?: The Political Representation of Women, Ethnic Groups, and Issue Positions in Legislatures
Didier Ruedin

New Nation-States and National Minorities
Edited by Julien Danero Iglesias, Nenad Stojanović, and Sharon Weinblum

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Loosen Those Belts! The Science of Overeating (Just in Time for Thanksgiving)

Neurogastronomy

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we thought we would look at one of the darker traditions of the holiday: overating. Sure, the food is delicious and plentiful but we should know better. But are there other, scientific factors that can explain why we stuff ourselves at Thanksgiving?

The following is an excerpt from Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters, by Gordon Shepherd and now available in paper. In the excerpt Shepherd begins by looking at fast food and then looks at some of the neurological reasons for why we overeat at Thanksgiving and other times of the year.

[F]ast food contains a variety of food types and flavors. This is called the supermarket, smorgasbord, or buffet effect. This idea actually originated with a blind French scientist named Jacque Le Magnen in Paris, who became a legend in research on feeding. In the 1950s he began detailed studies of laboratory rats fed different kinds of diets. He found that on daily lab chow they showed little weight gain, but if he offered them chow with different flavors they quickly began to gain weight. This effect was rediscovered in 1981 by Barbara Rolls and her colleagues at Oxford, who called it sensory-specific satiety, meaning that with one flavor the animal quickly becomes full and bored with eating more, whereas a new flavor stimulates renewed eating. This is the effect we all experience at Thanksgiving or buffets or banquets when we feel the urge to go on eating every new dish or course. It is an expression of the fact that the brain is always interested in something new or changing, a characteristic we have seen in all the sensory systems. Although the fast- food industry probably did not know of Le Magnen’s research, it designed its foods as if it did.

(more…)

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Following Typhoon Haiyan’s tragic and devastating collision with the Philippine archipelago two weeks ago, From the Square features Filipino-American NYU author Catherine Ceniza Choy as she discusses the impact of the disaster here in the United States, where Filipinos constitute the fourth largest immigrant group, as well as the focus on international recovery efforts. Her hope, she imparts, is that “all of us partake in these efforts to give back to the Philippines, a country that has given and sacrificed so much for our own.”

And as great fans of Doris Lessing here at Columbia University Press, we must continue our roundup with the University of Michigan Press’s brief remembrance of the Nobel Prize-winning author. Gayle Greene, author of Doris Lessing: The Poetics of Change, writes that “I’ve no doubt that if there is a future, Lessing will be one of the writers by whom we’ll be remembered—one of the writers who will be seen as expressing what we were about.”

To mark today’s occasion as the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, long considered an historic turning point in U.S. history, this week Harvard University Press provides us with a fantastic excerpt from David Kaiser’s The Road to Dallas. Praised as “[o]ne of the most compelling passages in a book quite full of them,” the piece works to unravel the series of events that took place as a result of the presidential assassination. Perhaps more interestingly, however, the author goes on to expound on the varying outcomes, both political and social, that could have resulted had JFK’s assassination never happened at all.

Putting aside briefly the solemnity of this week’s more serious events and concerns, Oxford University Press celebrates the addition of the word “selfie” to the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as its ongoing proclamation of the word’s lexical supremacy over 2013. Said celebration is made appropriately manifest in a retooling of Macbeth’s “Is this a [selfie] which I see before me?” monologue, complete with an illustration of the guilt-ridden Scottish Thane indulging in a bit of electronic self-portraiture.

We return to From the Square as NYU author Joan C. Williams touches upon the perennial issue of gender bias in the workplace. Focusing on stats that attempt to answer the question, “Who wants to work for a woman?”, Williams remarks upon some of the more impressive elements of her research (such as her finding that 41% of people have no preference toward working for either a man or a woman), as well as some of the more distressing ones (“a much higher percentage (40%) of women than men (29%) prefer to work for a man.”). While her findings clearly demonstrate progressive professional attitudes over previous decades, Williams worries that gender stereotypes continue to inform employees’ perspectives regarding their superiors, and vice versa.

And lastly, for a bit of fun, Cambridge University Press’s fifteeneightyfour published the results of their contest in which participants submitted what they imagine might have constituted Hemingway’s famous “lost suitcase.” The winning pitch? “It was the end of the day and the Sherpas were burning the base camp farther down the mountain.” We think Papa would be proud.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Interview with Peter Maguire, author of Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade

Thai Stick, Peter Maguire

The following is an edited transcript of a podcast interview with Peter Maguire, coauthor of Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade. The excerpt starts with midway with Maguire talking about the marijuana smugglers.

For another interview with Maguire, you can listen to Waking from the American Dream.

PM: Yeah, these were modern day pirates who basically needed to find a way to finance their endless summers and growing up in southern California they were sort of our heroes and I was a young lifeguard in Malibu and knew many people in this world and for many years I kind of tried to, to pretend I was you know, a straight history professor that didn’t have this other life that I had led before I moved on to academia, but I figured it was time for me to come out of the cannabis closet.

Q: These surfers that were part of this giant drug trade, just, they didn’t think it was immoral

PM: No, absolutely not.

Q: Certainly there were people executed, who were caught….. I don’t understand why this story hasn’t been , well, part of the vernacular of the war on drugs.

PM: Well, you know you figure that you had a generation of, of many of these guys were draft dodgers, and had basically been turned criminal as a result of, of dodging the draft and evading service in the Vietnam War, or you know minor criminal convictions for marijuana use and they just left the system.

And in case of my co-author Mike Ritter, he was a draft dodger, went to Afghanistan, began, they all began, very small and the thing just escalates, and so by 1974, the Thai stick, the finest marijuana, really, of the 1970′s, grown by the hill tribes in, in northeast Thailand, one pound of Thai sticks in the United States was $2000 in 1974.

So basically, if you could fill a boat with Thai sticks and get it back to the United States you could set yourself up for life.

One of our favorite narrators, Mike Charley Tuna Carter, one of the great captains of the Thai marijuana fleet, he brought back six tons in I think 1975 and netted something like twenty million dollars that he seal-a-mealed, put in igloo coolers in his yard and called it the bank of the igloo underground.

But that’s, that’s half the story.

The other half of the story is the Southeast Asia 1975 to 1979 was probably one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world given not only the pirates, the boat people, the Khmer Rouge, the Vietnamese Navy, so the DEA was the least of the worries that the Thai smugglers faced.

Q: Well, in going, in going through the Pirates and Perils chapter, I can’t believe that they were taking that kind of risk, but for $2000 you could buy a house in 1974 for that.

PM: Oh absolutely. And my co-author, Mike Ritter, he would contract Thai fishermen, and Thai fishermen will traffic in anything. Smuggling is not really frowned upon in Thailand as long as you make money. And marijuana to the Thais is grown in every garden in the Northeast. It’s a therapeutic plant, really not many people even smoke it, it’s used in chicken soup, it’s used to sooth menstrual cramps, and help pregnant women, and the idea that, that the US government was coming down on this, the Thais had a hard time taking it even seriously.

Q: So, when the DEA decided that they were going to go after this, the way that they did why do you think it was specific to that?

PM: Money. It was all about money. And there was one DEA agent in particular who we interviewed extensively, named James Conklin, and he was a Vietnam veteran who understood Southeast Asia. He very candidly told us that in his early years in the DEA, he started in the BNDD, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, that marijuana was called kiddy dope and they weren’t allowed to touch it and they had to focus on heroin. And he said the thing that turned the tables was the money and that he got a tip from an informant about a Thai marijuana smuggler’s house in Santa Barbara and then he began to see the assets that these guys had and it absolutely blew his mind and he was the first one to really begin to get his head around it. He single handedly pretty much took down the Thai industry. So by 1988 they arrest Brian Daniels who had two gigantic loads come across the Pacific. One was in a boat captained by two former Green Berets and it had been loaded by the Vietnamese military. And so you know, money transcends all things. And the actual smugglers, I really would compare them to the rum-runners or the moon-shiners of the North Georgia mountains where there was arbitrary law against it this, but they didn’t see it as immoral or anything else.

Q: Well it was Dave Catenburg who you cited was a former Vietnam veteran, who said that in the 70′s it was a Robin Hood sort of thing.

PM: Oh absolutely.

Q: And the links that you make between these people who were draft dodgers, who are Vietnamese vets, who are Vietnamese military, there were no obstacles for them anymore, it was like they had just one currency.

PM: Absolutely, and you know for many, and it was interesting, for many who served in Vietnam and for many who were draft dodgers, the defining event of their lives was the Vietnamese war and so you had these very disparate groups come together in the post ’75 period, because you had Vietnam vets who had trade craft language skills, knew the country, they could procure loads, and then you had the surfers who could sail boats, offload boats and all that and they formed an uneasy alliance which breaks down over time and many of the former military guys become confidential informants and are much more comfortable dealing with the government and turning on their former co-conspirators and pretty much everyone gets busted, everyone.

(more…)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Images of Surfing, Drugs, and Drug Smuggling via “Thai Stick”

From California surfers to the hinterlands of Thailand, Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade, by Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter, documents the growth, professionalization, and dangers of the international marijuana trade.

That story is, in part, captured in the following images from the book:

Peter Maguire, Thai Stick

Peter Maguire, Thai Stick

Peter Maguire, Thai Stick

(more…)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Book Giveaway! Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade

Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade, Peter Maguire

This week we will be featuring Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade the extraordinary tale of marijuana smuggling in the 1970s by Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter.

Throughout the week we will be featuring Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade on our blog, twitter, and facebook.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Thai Stick to a lucky winner.

To enter our Book Giveaway, simply e-mail pl2164@columbia.edu with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select one winner on Friday, November 22 at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

Friday, November 15th, 2013

University Press Roundup: Special UPWeek Edition

#UPWeek

Welcome to our University Press Roundup! As many of you know, this week was University Press Week, and many of the blogs we normally cover here participated in the #UPWeek Blog Tour, so we are making this the Special UPWeek Edition of our normal roundup. Each of the days of the UPWeek Blog Tour had a theme for those blogs posting, which is great for a roundup: it allows us to organize the posts both chronologically and thematically. We are highlighting quite a few posts, as one might expect, but all are well worth reading. As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Monday: Meet the Press
The UP blogs writing on Monday provided staff profiles and interviews in an effort to give a more detailed insight into how UPs do business, as well as to recognize the outstanding contributions to the scholarly process made by press employees.

McGill-Queen’s Press interviewed editors Kyla Madden and Jonathan Crago, Penn State Press interviewed “invisible” manuscript editor John Morris, the University of Illinois Press interviewed Editor-in-Chief Laurie Matheson, the University of Hawai’i Press profiled Journals Manager Joel Bradshaw, the University of Missouri Press introduced new director David Rosenbaum, the University Press of Colorado profiled managing editor Laura Furney, and the University Press of Florida interviewed editor Siam Hunter.

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Friday, November 15th, 2013

#UPWeek Blog Tour: Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

It’s the final day ofUniversity Press Week! All week long university presses have been participating in the UP Week Blog Tour. We are thrilled to participate, and excited about today’s blog post theme: The Global Reach of University Presses.

Make sure you check out the other presses posting today: Georgetown University Press, Indiana University Press, JHU Press, NYU Press, Princeton University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, and Yale University Press!

#UPWeek

Columbia University Press and Global Publishing

“Recognizing commonality in the midst of diversity, and diversity in the midst of commonality…. There’s no other way human life can be viewed.”—Wm. de Bary, in an interview with Columbia Magazine

Columbia University Press’s commitment to global publishing can be traced back to the late 1950’s, when Columbia University professors began extending the scope of their core courses to include classics of Asian literature alongside Western classics. Under the direction of William Theodore de Bary, one of the scholars responsible for Columbia’s innovative emphasis on non-Western thought, Columbia University Press published a series of four influential anthologies, Sources of Indian Tradition, Sources of Japanese Tradition, Sources of Chinese Tradition, and Sources of Korean Tradition, that form the foundation of our mission to contribute to an understanding of global human concerns.

Since the first of these anthologies was published in 1958, Columbia University Press has been committed to publishing quality scholarship in a variety of global fields. We take great pride in the diversity of our books and our authors. In the first few pages from our recently released Spring 2014 catalog alone we have an insect cookbook translated from Dutch, a discussion of Jacques Lacan and a book of short plays by French philosopher Alain Badiou, and three books from the new Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture Series, which boast Nobel winners from America and India as authors.

In addition to our own publishing program, we also help to disseminate global scholarship through our distribution services. Our distributed presses are based in Asia, Europe, and the United States; some publish primarily in specific subject areas, others in a variety of fields. However, despite their differences (or maybe because of them), all contribute quality scholarship and literature to the global scholarly conversation.

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Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Joseph Cirincione talks Iran with Fareed Zakaria

Nuclear Nightmares

This week our featured book is Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late by Joseph Cirincione. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its author on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page. Today, we have a video from Joseph Cirincione’s recent interview with Fareed Zakaria

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Nuclear Nightmares!

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Mike Chasar on Remembrance Day and the Case of the $400,000,000 Poem

Mike Chasar, Everyday ReadingThe following post written for Veteran’s Day or Remembrance Day is by Mike Chasar, author of Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America. The post was originally published on Arcade.

I like to think of John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” as the $400,000,000 poem, and not just because its first stanza has appeared on the back of the Canadian $10 bank note—a fact that, all by itself, makes McCrae’s World War I-era verse one of the most widely circulated poems in history. I also think of it as the $400,000,000 poem because, shortly after it appeared in the December 8, 1915, issue of Punch magazine, the Canadian government made “In Flanders Fields” a central piece of its public relations campaign advertising the sale of the first Victory Loan Bonds, printing it, or excerpts from it, on billboards and posters like the one pictured here. According to Canadian Veterans Affairs and other sources, the campaign was designed to raise $150,000,000 but ended up netting—wait for it—more than $400,000,000.

Whoever said that “poetry makes nothing happen: it survives / In the valley of its making where executives / Would never want to tamper” clearly wasn’t thinking of McCrae’s rondeau, which is the centerpiece of Remembrance or Veterans Day (November 11) activities worldwide and turned the red or “Buddy” poppy into the day’s icon, manufacture and sale of which has been a regular source of funding for disabled and needy VFW veterans as well as for war orphans and surviving spouses of veterans in the U.S. since 1923. It is memorized by school kids, recited at Remembrance Day events, has elicited all sorts of reply poems and been put to music, and resulted in the restoration of McCrae’s birthplace in Guelph, Ontario, as a museum. In Ypres, Belgium, there’s even a World War I museum that takes its name from the poem.

By most accounts, McCrae composed “In Flanders Fields” in 1915, the day after witnessing the death of his 22 year-old friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, and legend has it that McCrae ripped the poem out of his notebook and cast it aside amongst the blood-red poppies on the battlefield where it was rescued by an onlooker and sent to Punch, which printed it anonymously:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

(more…)

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Nuclear Nightmares Still Lurking in Our World

Nuclear Nightmares

This week our featured book is Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late by Joseph Cirincione. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its author on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page. Today, we have a guest post from Joseph Cirincione in which he discusses the ongoing and worldwide danger from nuclear weapons.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Nuclear Nightmares!

The Nuclear Nightmares Still Lurking in Our World

Joe Cirincione

Most people think that the threat of nuclear weapons ended with the Cold War. They are dead wrong. Nuclear weapons still pose a clear and present danger, in the Middle East, in South Asia, on the Korean Peninsula and here in the United States.

My new book, Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It’s Too Late, takes us on a journey through today’s nuclear challenges, and lays out a clear path for how we can make the world safer, one step at a time.
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Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Joseph Cirincione on Nuclear Policy in the Obama Administration

Nuclear Nightmares

This week our featured book is Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late by Joseph Cirincione. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its author on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page. Today, we have an excerpt from the introduction to Joseph Cirincione’s introduction to Nuclear Nightmares, in which Cirincione discusses the gripping and important story of nuclear policy under the Obama administration.

Don’t forget to enter our book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Nuclear Nightmares!

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

New Book Tuesday: Light and Dark, The Call of Character, and More New Titles!

Our weekly list of new titles:

Light and Dark, Natsume SosekiLight and Dark: A Novel
Natsume Sōseki; translated by John Nathan

The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living
Mari Ruti

The Plebeian Experience: A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom
Martin Breaugh

An Encouragement of Learning
Yukichi Fukuzawa

Multimodal Treatment of Acute Psychiatric Illness: A Guide for Hospital Diversion
Justin M. Simpson and Glendon L. Moriarty

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Book Giveaway! Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, by Joseph Cirincione

Nuclear Nightmares

This week our featured book is Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late by Joseph Cirincione. Throughout the week, we will be featuring content about the book and its author on our blog as well as on our Twitter feed and our Facebook page.

We are also offering a FREE copy of Nuclear Nightmares. To enter our Book Giveaway, simply fill out the form below with your name and preferred mailing address. We will randomly select one winner on November 15th at 1:00 pm. Good luck, and spread the word!

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Herve This on Note by Note Cuisine and the Food of the Future

A recent segment on the BBC took viewers inside the lab and the mind of Herve This, author of Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor and the forthcoming Note-by-Note Cooking. In the segment, This argues and shows that since foodstuff is made of different chemicals, one could create nutritious dishes using powders, oils and liquids that contain the building-blocks of food, rather than conventional raw ingredients.

This terms this principle Note by Note cuisine akin to a composer creating a work.

Friday, November 8th, 2013

University Press Roundup

Welcome to our weekly roundup of the best posts from the blogs of academic publishers! As always, if you particularly enjoy something or think that we missed an important post, please let us know in the comments.

Ever wondered what makes a terrific book, a classic for generations to come? Author Ankhi Mukerjee aspires to address that question through his book titled, “What is a Classic?” and Stanford University Press highlights Mukherjee’s new book in a recent post by stating that “Mukherjee’s concise prose doesn’t pull any punches. In her first chapter she asserts that the “classic” can be deployed as a hierarchical apparatus, shoring up power for some while marginalizing the voices of others.”

This week, Yale University Press writes a post about Nigel Simeone’s recently published editorial venture “The Leonard Berstein Letters” which are a compilation of written exchanges between Bernstein and other noted artists as well as his own personal relationships. Yale recognizes the achievements of Mr. Bernstein as “a charismatic and versatile musician – a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, a gifted composer of Broadway musicals (West Side Story), symphonies (Age of Anxiety), choral works (Chichester Psalms), film scores (On the Waterfront), and much more. He was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this book is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence.”

Harvard University Press commemorates the centennial anniversary of the passing of Alfred Russel Wallace with a recent post that includes a “beautifully produced facsimile edition of Wallace’s “Species Notebook” of 1855-1859, a never-before-published document that helps to reestablish Wallace as Darwin’s equal among the pioneers of evolution.” Since his death in 1913, Wallace has been recognized as one of the most famous naturalists in the world.

Fan of Hemingway? Cambridge University Press catered to all those who want to know how to write like the acclaimed author with tips from Hemingway himself. As Heminway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume 2 (1923-1925) show that Hemingway had quite a few more tips on his craft, and Cambridge has made these tips available in an easily readable and creative format in a recent blog post.

Duke University Press recently published a post about joining hands with the Center for Documentary Studies to celebrate author Gerard H. Gaskin’s success with his forthcoming book “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene”, which was the 2012 winner of the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. According to Duke Press, “The book’s color and black-and-white photographs document the world of house balls, underground pageants where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, celebrate their most vibrant, spectacular selves as they walk, competing for trophies based on costume, attitude, dance moves, and realness.”

Princeton University Press recently posted about the 50th anniversary celebration of the New York Review of Books, which is widely recognized as a premier source of articles and reviews of the best books by the best critics in the industry. Princeton noted that all in attendance received a wonderful parting gift–a copy of the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine and a facsimile of the very first issue and mentioned that “it was delightful to thumb through Issue #1 with articles by W.H. Auden, Nathan Glazer, Elizabeth Hardwick, Irving Howe, Normal Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, and Gore Vidal, to mention just a few of the illustrious contributors.”

MIT Press rounds up its Classic Reissue series with Roger Lewis’s well-loved “Architect?: A Candid Guide to the Profession”, now in its third edition. In their recent post, MIT Press shares the thoughts of Executive Editor Roger Conover “on the need for such a book in the market and the careful considerations for the revision.”

Finally, we’ll wrap things up this week with a post by Harvard University Press. HUP paid a special tribute to Norman Mailer who is described as the “most celebrated and most reviled” of American writers, even years after his death. To highlight Mailer’s recent limelight with a new biography and special edition of selected essays, Harvard has posted “a most Mailerish of excerpts from his “First Advertisement for Myself,” from his 1959 book.

Thanks again for reading this week’s roundup! Have a great weekend, and leave any thoughts in the comments!