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Life in the Hothouse Cover

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Life in the Hothouse

How a Living Planet Survives Climate Change

Melanie Lenart

In this insightful, compelling, and highly readable work, Melanie Lenart, an award-winning journalist and science writer who holds a PhD in Natural Resources and Global Change, examines global warming with the trained eye of a professional scientist. And she presents the science in a clear, straightforward manner. Why does the planet’s warming produce stronger hurricanes, rising seas, and larger floods? Simple, says Lenart. The Earth is just doing what comes naturally. Just as humans produce sweat to cool off on a hot day, the planet produces hurricanes, floods, wetlands, and forests to cool itself off.

Life in the Hothouse incorporates Lenart’s extensive knowledge of climate science—including the latest research in climate change—and the most current scientific theories, including Gaia theory, which holds that the Earth has some degree of climate control “built in.” As Lenart points out, scientists have been documenting stronger hurricanes and larger floods for many years. There is a good reason for this, she notes. Hurricanes help cool the ocean surface and clear the air of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. From the perspective of Gaia theory, these responses are helping to slow the ongoing global warming and Lenart expounds upon this in a clear and understandable fashion.

There is hope, Lenart writes. If we help sustain Earth's natural defense systems, including wetlands and forests, perhaps Mother Earth will no longer need to rely as much on the cooling effects of what we call "natural disasters"—many of which carry a human fingerprint. At a minimum, she argues, these systems can help us survive the heat.

Check out some recent interviews with Melanie Lenart!
<a href="http://www.ecoshock.org/downloads/climate_solutions/ES_Lenart.mp3" target ="new">EcoShock Radio (May 21, 2010)
<a href="http://www.progressivenewsradio.com/?p=39 target="new">Progressive News Radio Podcast (April 27, 2010)
<a href="http://tv.azpm.org/kuat/segments/2010/4/20/kuat-life-in-the-hothouse/" target="new">KUAT TV Arizona Public Media (April 20, 2010)
<a href="http://www.wgy.com/cc-common/mediaplayer/player.html?redir=yes&mps=don_weeks.php&mid=http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/18227/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/18227/podcast/ALBANY-NY/WGY-AM/lenart331.mp3?CPROG=PCAST?CCOMRRMID&CPROG=RICHMEDIA&MARKET=ALBANY-NY&#" target="new">Don Weeks Show (March 23, 2010)
<a href="http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=45481" target="new">Go Green Radio with Jill Buck (April 2, 2010)
<a href="http://www.voiceamerica.com/voiceamerica/vepisode.aspx?aid=45516" target="new">Positive Living with Patricia Raskin (April 19, 2010)


For more details including news and reviews for this timely book, check out the <a href="http://www.u.arizona.edu/~mlenart/" target="new"> author's Web site!

Click <a href="http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/extras/Lenart/" target="new">here for source notes for this book.

The Life-Giving Stone Cover

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The Life-Giving Stone

ethnoarchaeology of Maya metates

By Micheal Searcy

In The Life-Giving Stone, Michael Searcy provides a thought-provoking ethnoarchaeological account of metate and mano manufacture, marketing, and use among Guatemalan Maya for whom these stone implements are still essential equipment in everyday life and diet.

Although many archaeologists have regarded these artifacts simply as common everyday tools and therefore unremarkable, Searcy’s methodology reveals how, for the ancient Maya, the manufacture and use of grinding stones significantly impacted their physical and economic welfare. In tracing the life cycle of these tools from production to discard for the modern Maya, Searcy discovers rich customs and traditions that indicate how metates and manos have continued to sustain life—not just literally, in terms of food, but also in terms of culture. His research is based on two years of fieldwork among three Mayan groups, in which he documented behaviors associated with these tools during their procurement, production, acquisition, use, discard, and re-use.

Searcy’s investigation documents traditional practices that are rapidly being lost or dramatically modified. In few instances will it be possible in the future to observe metates and manos as central elements in household provisioning or follow their path from hand-manufacture to market distribution and to intergenerational transmission. In this careful inquiry into the cultural significance of a simple tool, Searcy’s ethnographic observations are guided both by an interest in how grinding stone traditions have persisted and how they are changing today, and by the goal of enhancing the archaeological interpretation of these stones, which were so fundamental to pre-Hispanic agriculturalists with corn-based cuisines.

Looking Like the Enemy Cover

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Looking Like the Enemy

Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945

Jerry García

At the beginning of the twentieth century, thousands of Japanese citizens sought new opportunities abroad. By 1910, nearly ten thousand had settled in Mexico. Over time, they found work, put down roots, and raised families. But until now, very little has been written about their lives. Looking Like the Enemy is the first English-language history of the Japanese experience in Mexico.
 
Japanese citizens were initially lured to Mexico with promises of cheap and productive land in Chiapas. Many of the promises were false, and the immigrants were forced to fan out across the country, especially to the lands along the US border. As Jerry García reveals, they were victims of discrimination based on “difference,” but they also displayed “markers of whiteness” that linked them positively to Europeans and Americans, who were perceived as powerful and socially advanced. And, García reports, many Mexicans looked favorably on the Japanese as hardworking and family-centered.
 
The book delves deeply into the experiences of the Japanese on both sides of the border during World War II, illuminating the similarities and differences in their treatment. Although some Japanese Mexicans were eventually interned (at the urging of the US government), in general the fear and vitriol that Japanese Americans encountered never reached the same levels in Mexico.
 
Looking Like the Enemy is an ambitious study of a tumultuous half-century in Mexico. It is a significant contribution to our understanding of the immigrant experience in the Western Hemisphere and to the burgeoning field of borderlands studies.

Mañana Means Heaven Cover

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Mañana Means Heaven

Tim Z. Hernandez

In this love story of impossible odds, award-winning writer Tim Z. Hernandez weaves a rich and visionary portrait of Bea Franco, the real woman behind famed American author Jack Kerouac’s “The Mexican Girl.” Set against an ominous backdrop of California in the 1940s, deep in the agricultural heartland of the Great Central Valley, Mañana Means Heaven reveals the desperate circumstances that lead a married woman to an illicit affair with an aspiring young writer traveling across the United States.

When they meet, Franco is a migrant farmworker with two children and a failing marriage, living with poverty, violence, and the looming threat of deportation, while the “college boy” yearns to one day make a name for himself in the writing world. The significance of their romance poses vastly different possibilities and consequences.   

Mañana Means Heaven deftly combines fact and fiction to pull back the veil on one of literature’s most mysterious and evocative characters. Inspired by Franco’s love letters to Kerouac and Hernandez’s interviews with Franco, now in her nineties and living in relative obscurity, the novel brings this lost gem of a story out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

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Maguey Journey

By Kathryn Rousso

The name maguey refers to various forms of the agave and furcraea genus, also sometimes called the century plant. The fibers extracted from the leaves of these plants are spun into fine cordage and worked with a variety of tools and techniques to create textiles, from net bags and hammocks to equestrian gear.

In this fascinating book, Kathryn Rousso, an accomplished textile artist, takes a detailed look at the state of maguey culture, use, and trade in Guatemala. She has spent years traveling in Guatemala, highlighting maguey workers' interactions in many locations and blending historical and current facts to describe their environments. Along the way, Rousso has learned the process of turning a raw leaf into beautiful and useful textile products and how globalization and modernization are transforming the maguey trade in Guatemala.

Featuring a section of full-color illustrations that follow the process from plant to weaving to product, Maguey Journey presents the story of this fiber over recent decades through the travels of an impassioned artist. Useful to cultural anthropologists, ethnobotanists, fiber artists, and interested travelers alike, this book offers a snapshot of how the industry stands now and seeks to honor those who keep the art alive in Guatemala.

Mapping Wonderlands Cover

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Mapping Wonderlands

Illustrated Cartography of Arizona, 1912–1962

Dori Griffin

Though tourism now plays a recognized role in historical research and regional studies, the study of popular touristic images remains sidelined by chronological histories and objective statistics. Further, Arizona remains underexplored as an early twentieth-century tourism destination when compared with nearby California and New Mexico. With the notable exception of the Grand Canyon, little has been written about tourism in the early days of Arizona’s statehood.
Mapping Wonderlands fills part of this gap in existing regional studies by looking at early popular pictorial maps of Arizona. These cartographic representations of the state utilize formal mapmaking conventions to create a place-based state history. They introduce illustrations, unique naming conventions, and written narratives to create carefully visualized landscapes that emphasize the touristic aspects of Arizona.
Analyzing the visual culture of tourism in illuminating detail, this book documents how Arizona came to be identified as an appealing tourism destination. Providing a historically situated analysis, Dori Griffin draws on samples from a comprehensive collection of materials generated to promote tourism during Arizona’s first half-century of statehood. She investigates the relationship between natural and constructed landscapes, visual culture, and narratives of place. Featuring sixty-six examples of these aesthetically appealing maps, the book details how such maps offered tourists and other users a cohesive and storied image of the state. Using historical documentation and rhetorical analysis, this book combines visual design and historical narrative to reveal how early-twentieth-century mapmakers and map users collaborated to imagine Arizona as a tourist’s paradise.

Though tourism now plays a recognized role in historical research and regional studies, the study of popular touristic images remains sidelined by chronological histories and objective statistics. Further, Arizona remains underexplored as an early twentieth-century tourism destination when compared with nearby California and New Mexico. With the notable exception of the Grand Canyon, little has been written about tourism in the early days of Arizona’s statehood.
Mapping Wonderlands fills part of this gap in existing regional studies by looking at early popular pictorial maps of Arizona. These cartographic representations of the state utilize formal mapmaking conventions to create a place-based state history. They introduce illustrations, unique naming conventions, and written narratives to create carefully visualized landscapes that emphasize the touristic aspects of Arizona.
Analyzing the visual culture of tourism in illuminating detail, this book documents how Arizona came to be identified as an appealing tourism destination. Providing a historically situated analysis, Dori Griffin draws on samples from a comprehensive collection of materials generated to promote tourism during Arizona’s first half-century of statehood. She investigates the relationship between natural and constructed landscapes, visual culture, and narratives of place. Featuring sixty-six examples of these aesthetically appealing maps, the book details how such maps offered tourists and other users a cohesive and storied image of the state. Using historical documentation and rhetorical analysis, this book combines visual design and historical narrative to reveal how early-twentieth-century mapmakers and map users collaborated to imagine Arizona as a tourist’s paradise.

Matrons and Maids Cover

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Matrons and Maids

Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson, 1914–1934

Victoria K. Haskins

From 1914 to 1934 the US government sent Native American girls to work as domestic servants in the homes of white families. Matrons and Maids tells this forgotten history through the eyes of the women who facilitated their placements. During those two decades, “outing matrons” oversaw and managed the employment of young Indian women. In Tucson, Arizona, the matrons acted as intermediaries between the Indian and white communities and between the local Tucson community and the national administration, the Office of Indian Affairs.

Based on federal archival records, Matrons and Maids offers an original and detailed account of government practices and efforts to regulate American Indian women. Haskins demonstrates that the outing system was clearly about regulating cross-cultural interactions, and she highlights the roles played by white women in this history. As she compellingly argues, we cannot fully engage with cross-cultural histories without examining the complex involvement of white women as active, if ambivalent, agents of colonization.

Including stories of the entwined experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women that range from the heart-warming to the heart-breaking, Matrons and Maids presents a unique perspective on the history of Indian policy and the significance of “women’s work.”

Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity Cover

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Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity

By Brigittine M. French

In this valuable book, ethnographer and anthropologist Brigittine French mobilizes new critical-theoretical perspectives in linguistic anthropology, applying them to the politically charged context of contemporary Guatemala. Beginning with an examination of the “nationalist project” that has been ongoing since the end of the colonial period, French interrogates the “Guatemalan/indigenous binary.” In Guatemala, “Ladino” refers to the Spanish-speaking minority of the population, who are of mixed European, usually Spanish, and indigenous ancestry; “Indian” is understood to mean the majority of Guatemala’s population, who speak one of the twenty-one languages in the Maya linguistic groups of the country, although levels of bilingualism are very high among most Maya communities. As French shows, the Guatemalan state has actively promoted a racialized, essentialized notion of “Indians” as an undifferentiated, inherently inferior group that has stood stubbornly in the way of national progress, unity, and development—which are, implicitly, the goals of “true Guatemalans” (that is, Ladinos).

French shows, with useful examples, how constructions of language and collective identity are in fact strategies undertaken to serve the goals of institutions (including the government, the military, the educational system, and the church) and social actors (including linguists, scholars, and activists). But by incorporating in-depth fieldwork with groups that speak Kaqchikel and K’iche’ along with analyses of Spanish-language discourses, Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity also shows how some individuals in urban, bilingual Indian communities have disrupted the essentializing projects of multiculturalism. And by focusing on ideologies of language, the author is able to explicitly link linguistic forms and functions with larger issues of consciousness, gender politics, social positions, and the forging of hegemonic power relations.

Mesoamerican Plazas Cover

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Mesoamerican Plazas

Arenas of Community and Power

Edited by Kenichiro Tsukamoto and Takeshi Inomata

Until now, archaeological and historical studies of Mesoamerican plazas have been scarce compared to studies of the surrounding monumental architecture such as pyramidal temples and palaces. Many scholars have assumed that ancient Mesoamericans invested their labor, wealth, and symbolic value in pyramids and other prominent buildings, viewing plazas as by-products of these buildings. Even when researchers have recognized the potential significance of plazas, they have thought that plazas as vacant spaces could offer few clues about their cultural and political roles. Mesoamerican Plazas challenges both of these assumptions.
 
The primary question that has motivated the contributors is how Mesoamerican plazas became arenas for the creation and negotiation of social relations and values in a community. The thirteen contributions stress the significance of interplay between power relations and embodied practices set in specific historical and material settings, as outlined by practice theory and performance theory. This approach allows the contributors to explore broader anthropological issues, such as the negotiation of power relations, community making, and the constitution of political authorities.
 
Overall, the contributions establish that physical interactions among people in communal events were not the outcomes of political machinations held behind the scenes, but were the actual political processes through which people created, negotiated, and subverted social realities. If so, spacious plazas that were arguably designed for interactions among a large number of individuals must have also provided critical arenas for the constitution and transformation of society.

Milk and Filth Cover

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Milk and Filth

Carmen Giménez Smith

Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Giménez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility.
    The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov’s Lolita, facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet’s cultural critique.
    Phrases such as “the caustic domain of urchins” and “the gelatin shiver of tea’s surface” take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about “downgrading into human,” she says, “Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and not even a marble estuary for the ages.”
     Giménez Smith’s poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator’s personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Giménez Smith’s poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.

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