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The Curious History of the Boston Athenaeum
Founded in 1807, the successor to a literary club called the Anthology Society, the Boston Athenaeum occupies an important place in the early history of American intellectual life. At first a repository for books, to which works of art were later added, the Athenaeum attracted over time a following that included such literary luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry James. Yet from the outset, Katherine Wolff shows, the Boston Athenaeum was more than a library; it was also a breeding ground for evolving notions of cultural authority and American identity. Though governed by the Boston elite, who promoted it as a way of strengthening their own clout in the city, the early Athenaeum reflected conflicting and at times contradictory aims and motives on the part of its membership. On the one hand, by drawing on European aesthetic models to reinforce an exalted sense of mission, Athenaeum leaders sought to establish themselves as guardians of a nascent American culture. On the other, they struggled to balance their goals with their concerns about an increasingly democratic urban populace. As the Boston Athenaeum opened its doors to women as well as men outside its inner circle, it eventually began to define itself against a more accessible literary institution, the Boston Public Library. Told through a series of provocative episodes and generously illustrated, Culture Club offers a more complete picture than previously available of the cultural politics behind the making of a quintessentially American institution.
Fifty Years of Commentary by H. Brandt Ayers
LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad That Changed American Politics
The grainy black-and-white television ad shows a young girl in a flower-filled meadow, holding a daisy and plucking its petals, which she counts one by one. As the camera slowly zooms in on her eye, a man’s solemn countdown replaces hers. At zero the little girl’s eye is engulfed by an atomic mushroom cloud. As the inferno roils in the background, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s voice intones, “These are the stakes—to make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.” In this thought-provoking and highly readable book, Robert Mann provides a concise, engaging study of the “Daisy Girl” ad, widely acknowledged as the most important and memorable political ad in American history. Commissioned by Johnson’s campaign and aired only once during Johnson’s 1964 presidential contest against Barry Goldwater, it remains an iconic piece of electoral propaganda, intertwining cold war fears of nuclear annihilation with the increasingly savvy world of media and advertising. Mann presents a nuanced view of how Johnson’s campaign successfully cast Barry Goldwater as a radical too dangerous to control the nation’s nuclear arsenal, a depiction that sparked immediate controversy across the United States. Repeatedly analyzed in countless books and articles, the spot purportedly destroyed Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Although that degree of impact on the Goldwater campaign is debatable, what is certain is that the ad ushered in a new era of political advertising using emotional appeals as a routine aspect of campaign strategy.
McCarthyism Aimed at the Press
Dark Days in the Newsroom traces how journalists became radicalized during the Depression era, only to become targets of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communist crusaders during the 1950s. Edward Alwood, a former news correspondent describes this remarkable story of conflict, principle, and personal sacrifice with noticeable élan. He shows how McCarthy's minions pried inside newsrooms thought to be sacrosanct under the First Amendment, and details how journalists mounted a heroic defense of freedom of the press while others secretly enlisted in the government's anti-communist crusade.
Relying on previously undisclosed documents from FBI files, along with personal interviews, Alwood provides a richly informed commentary on one of the most significant moments in the history of American journalism. Arguing that the experiences of the McCarthy years profoundly influenced the practice of journalism, he shows how many of the issues faced by journalists in the 1950s prefigure today's conflicts over the right of journalists to protect their sources.
Librarians, Data and the Education of a New Generation of Researchers
Given the increasing attention to managing, publishing, and preserving research datasets as scholarly assets, what competencies in working with research data will graduate students in STEM disciplines need to be successful in their fields? And what role can librarians play in helping students attain these competencies? In addressing these questions, this book articulates a new area of opportunity for librarians and other information professionals, developing educational programs that introduce graduate students to the knowledge and skills needed to work with research data. The term “data information literacy” has been adopted with the deliberate intent of tying two emerging roles for librarians together. By viewing information literacy and data services as complementary rather than separate activities, the contributors seek to leverage the progress made and the lessons learned in each service area. The intent of the publication is to help librarians cultivate strategies and approaches for developing data information literacy programs of their own using the work done in the multiyear, IMLS-supported Data Information Literacy (DIL) project as real-world case studies. The initial chapters introduce the concepts and ideas behind data information literacy, such as the twelve data competencies. The middle chapters describe five case studies in data information literacy conducted at different institutions (Cornell, Purdue, Minnesota, Oregon), each focused on a different disciplinary area in science and engineering. They detail the approaches taken, how the programs were implemented, and the assessment metrics used to evaluate their impact. The later chapters include the “DIL Toolkit,” a distillation of the lessons learned, which is presented as a handbook for librarians interested in developing their own DIL programs. The book concludes with recommendations for future directions and growth of data information literacy. More information about the DIL project can be found on the project’s website: datainfolit.org.
The Chronicles of a Hard of Hearing Reporter
Elizabeth Thompson’s hearing loss was detected when she was in elementary school, and her hearing continued to deteriorate until she became completely deaf. Like many other hard of hearing and late-deafened individuals, her hearing loss complicated the general challenges of life. She struggled through school, worked as a secretary, married, had a daughter, and then found herself living as a single mother. She remarried, and soon after learned that she had contracted Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Despite these hurdles, Thompson always expressed her determination to enjoy the best life had to offer. Her astonishing exuberance might have gone unnoticed if she hadn’t accepted a new position as a reporter/columnist in 1998 for the Suburban News Publications (SNP). Day by Day: The Chronicles of a Hard of Hearing Reporter presents a marvelous blend of her experiences and best SNP columns that illustrate how she created her remarkable outlook. In her columns, Thompson presented how she handled her hearing loss as a personal guide for readers. She used every stratagem available to function full-throttle – hearing aids, FM systems, lights for alarms, TTYs, even training her dog Snert. She also gently counseled readers on how to treat deaf and hard of hearing people with practical consideration and respect. Her pursuit of a fully realized life enabled her to do what she loved most, to meet and write about inspiring persons, many of whom are profiled in her memoir. Thompson eventually underwent cochlear implantation that restored 95% of her hearing, an exalting moment for her. Yet, Day by Day celebrates the entire arc of her life, a wonderful testament to her joyous resilience.
The Antebellum Vision of a New South
In the decades preceding the Civil War, the South struggled against widespread negative characterizations of its economy and society as it worked to match the North's infrastructure and level of development. Recognizing the need for regional reform, James Dunwoody Brownson (J. D. B.) De Bow began to publish a monthly journal -- De Bow's Review -- to guide Southerners toward a stronger, more diversified future. His periodical soon became a primary reference for planters and entrepreneurs in the Old South, promoting urban development and industrialization and advocating investment in schools, libraries, and other cultural resources. Later, however, De Bow began to use his journal to manipulate his readers' political views. Through inflammatory articles, he defended proslavery ideology, encouraged Southern nationalism, and promoted anti-Union sentiment, eventually becoming one of the South's most notorious fire-eaters.
In De Bow's Review: The Antebellum Vision of a New South, author John Kvach explores how the editor's antebellum economic and social policies influenced Southern readers and created the framework for a postwar New South movement. By recreating subscription lists and examining the lives and livelihoods of 1,500 Review readers, Kvach demonstrates how De Bow's Review influenced a generation and a half of Southerners. This approach allows modern readers to understand the historical context of De Bow's editorial legacy. Ultimately, De Bow and his antebellum subscribers altered the future of their region by creating the vision of a New South long before the Civil War.
Seven Years of Vietnam War Reporting
In 1961, equipped with a master’s degree from famed Columbia Journalism School and letters of introduction to Associated Press bureau chiefs in Asia, twenty-six-year-old Beverly Deepe set off on a trip around the world. Allotting just two weeks to South Vietnam, she was still there seven years later, having then earned the distinction of being the longest-serving American correspondent covering the Vietnam War and garnering a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
In Death Zones and Darling Spies, Beverly Deepe Keever describes what it was like for a farm girl from Nebraska to find herself halfway around the world, trying to make sense of one of the nation’s bloodiest and bitterest wars. She arrived in Saigon as Vietnam’s war entered a new phase and American helicopter units and provincial advisers were unpacking. She tells of traveling from her Saigon apartment to jungles where Wild West–styled forts first dotted Vietnam’s borders and where, seven years later, they fell like dominoes from communist-led attacks. In 1965 she braved elephant grass with American combat units armed with unparalleled technology to observe their valor—and their inability to distinguish friendly farmers from hide-and-seek guerrillas.
Keever’s trove of tissue-thin memos to editors, along with published and unpublished dispatches for New York and London media, provide the reader with you-are-there descriptions of Buddhist demonstrations and turning-point coups as well as phony ones. Two Vietnamese interpreters, self-described as “darling spies,” helped her decode Vietnam’s shadow world and subterranean war. These memoirs, at once personal and panoramic, chronicle the horrors of war and a rise and decline of American power and prestige.
Provocative yet sober, Digital Critical Editions examines how transitioning from print to a digital milieu deeply affects how scholars deal with the work of editing critical texts. On one hand, forces like changing technology and evolving reader expectations lead to the development of specific editorial products, while on the other hand, they threaten traditional forms of knowledge and methods of textual scholarship.Using the experiences of philologists, text critics, text encoders, scientific editors, and media analysts, Digital Critical Editions ranges from philology in ancient Alexandria to the vision of user-supported online critical editing, from peer-directed texts distributed to a few to community-edited products shaped by the many. The authors discuss the production and accessibility of documents, the emergence of tools used in scholarly work, new editing regimes, and how the readers' expectations evolve as they navigate digital texts. The goal: exploring questions such as, What kind of text is produced? Why is it produced in this particular way?Digital Critical Editions provides digital editors, researchers, readers, and technological actors with insights for addressing disruptions that arise from the clash of traditional and digital cultures, while also offering a practical roadmap for processing traditional texts and collections with today's state-of-the-art editing and research techniques thus addressing readers' new emerging reading habits.
Stepping up to the Challenge
E-Books in Academic Libraries: Stepping Up to the Challenge provides readers with a view of the changing and emerging roles of electronic books in higher education. The three main sections contain contributions by experts in the publisher/vendor arena, as well as by librarians who report on both the challenges of offering and managing e-books and on the issues surrounding patron use of e-books. The case study section offers perspectives from seven different sizes and types of libraries whose librarians describe innovative and thought-provoking projects involving e-books. Read about perspectives on e-books from organizations as diverse as a commercial publisher and an association press. Learn about the viewpoint of a jobber. Find out about the e-book challenges facing librarians, such as the quest to control costs in the patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) model, how to solve the dilemma of resource sharing with e-books, and how to manage PDA in the consortial environment. See what patron use of e-books reveals about reading habits and disciplinary differences. Finally, in the case study section, discover how to promote scholarly e-books, how to manage an e-reader checkout program, and how one library replaced most of its print collection with e-books. These and other examples illustrate how innovative librarians use e-books to enhance users’ experiences with scholarly works.