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Addressing Postmodernity

Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change

Written by Barbara Biesecker

Biesecker reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change.

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols.  In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.

Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion:  Studies in Logology, Biesecker addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld. As Biesecker shows, postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.

Biesecker confronts directly the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike. In juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.

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Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs

Late of the Tallapoosa Volunteers; Together with Taking the Census and Other Alabama Sketches

Originally published in 1845, Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs is a series of sketches written in part to parody some the campaign literature of the era. The character, Simon Suggs, with his motto, “it is good to be shifty in a new country,” fully incarnates a backwoods version of the national archetypes now know as the confidence man, the grafter, the professional flim-flam artist supremely skilled in the arts by which a man gets along in the world. This classic volume of good humor is set in the rough-and-tumble world of frontier life and politics.

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Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present

“Beardsley’s book accomplishes to perfection what the writer intended.  It illuminates an area of history from a certain perspective as was never done before. . . . The distinguishing feature of his book is a n excitement over everything I aesthetics that has to do with symbols, meanings, language, and modes of interpretation.  And this excitement has brought to light facets of the history f the subject never noticed before, or at least, not so clearly.” —The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

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After Strange Texts

The Role of Theory in the Study of Literature

Gregory S. Jay and David L. Miller

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After Wallace

The 1986 Contest for Governor and Political Change in Alabama

All Alabama elections are colorful, but the 1986 gubernatorial contest may trump them all for its sheer strangeness. With the retirement of an aging and ill George Wallace, both the issues and candidates contending for the office were able to set the course of Alabama politics for generations to follow. Whereas the Wallace regimes were particular to Alabama, and the gubernatorial campaign was conducted in a partial vacuum with his absence, Alabama also experienced a wave of partisan realignment. A once solidly Democratic South was undergoing a tectonic political shift as white voters in large numbers abandoned their traditional Democratic political home for the revived Republicans, a party shaped in many respects by the Wallace presidential bids of 1968 and 1972 and the Reagan revolution of the 1980s.

Alabama's own Democratic party contributed to this massive shift with self-destructive campaign behavior that disgusted many of its traditional voters who wound up staying home or voting for a little-known Republican. From the gubernatorial election of 1986 came the shaky balance between the two parties that exists today.

After Wallace recollects and analyzes how these shifts occurred, citing extensive newspaper coverage from the time as well as personal observations and poll data collected by the authors. This volume is certain to be a valuable work for any political scientist, especially those with an interest in Alabama or southern politics.


 

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After War Times

An African American Childhood in Reconstruction-Era Florida

T. Thomas Fortune was a leading African American publisher, editor, and journalist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who was born a slave in antebellum Florida lived through emancipation, and rose to become a literary lion of his generation. In T. Thomas Fortune's “ After War Times,” Daniel R. Weinfeld brings together a series of twenty-three autobiographical articles Fortune wrote about his formative childhood during Reconstruction and subsequent move to Washington, DC.
 
By 1890 Fortune had founded a predecessor organization to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, known as the National Afro-American League, but his voice found its most powerful expression and influence in poetry, prose, and journalism. It was as a journalist that Fortune stirred national controversy by issuing a passionate appeal to African American southerners: “ I propose to start a crusade,” he proclaimed in June 1900, “ to have the negroes of the South leave that section and to come north or go elsewhere. It is useless to remain in the South and cry Peace! Peace! When there is no peace.” The movement he helped propel became known as “ the Great Migration.”
 
By focusing on Thomas’ s ruminations about his disillusion with post– Civil War Florida, Weinfeld highlights the sources of Fortune’ s deep disenchantment with the South, which intensified when the Reconstruction order gave way to Jim Crow– era racial discrimination and violence. Even decades after he left the South, Fortune’ s vivid memories of incidents and personalities in his past informed his political opinions and writings. Scholars and readers interested in Southern history in the aftermath of the Civil War, especially the experiences of African Americans, will find much of interest in this vital collection of primary writings.

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Ain't Nothin' But a Winner

Bear Bryant, The Goal Line Stand, and a Chance of a Lifetime

Barry Krauss and Joe M. Moore With a Foreword by Don Shula

No university has won more football championships than Alabama, and Barry Krauss played a key role in one of them. The linebacker’s fourth down stop of Penn State’s Mike Guman in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1979, was recently named by ESPN as one of the ten most important plays of the 20th century.
 
The Goal Line Stand, as the play became known, immortalized Krauss among legions of fans. More than twenty-five years later, people still tell him exactly what they were doing and how they felt when he collided in mid-air with Guman that New Year’s Day—and almost never mention his twelve-year career in the NFL.
 
In this entertaining and well-illustrated memoir, Krauss tells of scrimmaging on front lawns with friends as a kid in Pompano Beach, Florida, and of his childhood dream to play for Don Shula. He acknowledges how Coach Bear Bryant tamed his free spirit and shaped him into the football player—and the man—he became. And he emphasizes the importance of team, weaving together the personal stories of his Alabama teammates on the field during the Goal Line Stand, and acknowledges their significant roles in winning the game and the championship.
 
Ain’t Nothin’ But a Winner offers an insider’s look at how a team is built, tested, and becomes a national champion—and how that process sometimes calls upon an individual to rise to the challenge presented by his own personal gut check.

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Air Power and Armies

Written by Sir John Cotesworth Slessor and foreword by Phillip Meilinger

Sir John Cotesworth Slessor (1897–1979) was one of Great Britain's most influential airmen. He played a significant role in building the World War II Anglo-American air power partnership as an air planner on the Royal Air Force Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. He coordinated allied strategy in 1940–41, helped create an Anglo-American bomber alliance in 1942, and drafted the compromise at the Casablanca Conference that broke a deadlock in Anglo-American strategic debate. Also, Slessor was instrumental in defeating the U-boat menace as RAF Coastal Commander, and later shared responsibility for directing Allied air operations in the Mediterranean. Few aspects of the allied air effort escaped his influence: pilot training, aircraft procurement, and dissemination of operational intelligence and information all depended to a degree on Slessor. His influence on Anglo-American operational planning paved the way for a level of cooperation and combined action never before undertaken by the military forces of two great nations.

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Air Power in War

Written by Arthur W. Tedder

Arthur Tedder, who was knighted and raised to the peerage for his contributions to the Allied victory in World War II, served in the British air force in World War I and played an important role in professionalizing and organizing British air forces between the two world wars. During World War II he held a succession of increasingly vital air force posts.

 

In addition to his achievements as Air Commander-in-Chief in the North African theater early in the war, Tedder’s most lasting contribution was as Deputy Supreme Commander under Dwight D. Eisenhower. He deserves much credit for keeping the Allied command functioning and harmonious. He was also the architect of the successful air strategy Eisenhower adopted for the Normandy invasion of 1944, which departed from both the British and American existing doctrine and models by concentrating on German rail systems rather than on either civilian or industrial targets.

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Alabama Afternoons

Profiles and Conversations

Roy Hoffman

Alabama Afternoons is a collection of portraits of many remarkable Alabamians, famous and obscure, profiled by award-winning journalist and novelist Roy Hoffman. Written as Sunday feature stories for the Mobile Press-Register with additional pieces from the New York Times, Preservation, and Garden & Gun, these profiles preserve the individual stories—and the individual voices within the stories—that help to define one of the most distinctive states in the union.
 
Hoffman recounts his personal visits with writer Mary Ward Brown in her library in Hamburg, with photographer William Christenberry in a field in Newbern, and with storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham and folk artist Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas at their neighboring houses in Selma. Also highlighted are the lives of numerous alumni of The University of Alabama—among them Mel Allen, the “Voice of the Yankees” from 1939 to 1964; Forrest Gump author Winston Groom; and Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two students who entered the schoolhouse door in 1963. Hoffman profiles distinguished Auburn University alumni as well, including Eugene Sledge, renowned World War II veteran and memoirist, and Neil Davis, the outspoken, nationally visible editor of the Lee County Bulletin.
 
Hoffman also profiles major and minor players in the civil rights movement, from Johnnie Carr, raised in segregated Montgomery and later president of the Montgomery Improvement Association; and George Wallace Jr., son of the four-time governor; to Teresa Burroughs, a Greensboro beautician trampled in the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge; and Diane McWhorter, whose award- winning book explores the trouble- filled Birmingham civil rights experience. Juxtaposed with these are accounts of lesser-known individuals, such as Sarah Hamm, who attempts to preserve the fading Jewish culture in Eufaula; Edward Carl, who was butler and chauffeur to Bellingrath Gardens founder Walter Bellingrath in Theodore; and cousins William Bolton and Herbert Henson, caretakers of the coon dog cemetery in Russellville.
 
Hoffman’s compilation of life stories creates an engaging and compelling look into what it means to be from, and shaped by, Alabama. “Alabama Afternoons,” he writes in the introduction, “is a small part of the even bigger question of what it means to be an American.”

Read an article about domestic lives by Roy Hoffman in the New York Times here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/garden/25Domestic.html

 

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