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Antiques

The History of an Idea

by Leon Rosenstein

The notion of retrieving a bit of the past-by owning a material piece of it-has always appealed to humans. Often our most prized possessions are those that have had a long history before they came into our hands. Part of the pleasure we gain from the encounter with antiques stems from the palpable age and the assumed (sometimes imaginary) cultural resonances of the particular object. But precisely what is it about these objects that creates this attraction? What common characteristics do they share and why and how do these traits affect us as they do?

In Antiques: The History of an Idea, Leon Rosenstein, a distinguished philosopher who has also been an antiques dealer for more than twenty years, offers a sweeping and lively account of the origin and development of the antique as both a cultural concept and an aesthetic category. He shows that the appeal of antiques is multifaceted: it concerns their value as commodities, their age and historical and cultural associations, their uniqueness, their sensuous and tactile values, their beauty. Exploring how the idea of antiques evolved over time, Rosenstein chronicles the history of antique collecting and connoisseurship. He describes changing conceptions of the past in different epochs as evidenced by preservations, restorations, and renascences; examines shifting attitudes toward foreign cultures as revealed in stylistic borrowings and the importation of artifacts; and investigates varying understandings of and meanings assigned to their traits and functions as historical objects.

While relying on the past for his evidence, Rosenstein approaches antiques from an entirely original perspective, setting history within a philosophical framework. He begins by providing a working definition of antiques that distinguishes them from other artifacts in general and, more distinctly, both from works of fine art and from the collectible detritus of popular culture. He then establishes a novel set of criteria for determining when an artifact is an antique: ten traits that an object must possess in order to elicit the aesthetic response that is unique to antiques. Concluding with a provocative discussion of the relation between antiques and civilization, this engaging and thought-provoking book helps explain the enduring appeal of owning a piece of the past.

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Appetite for Change

How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry

by Warren J. Belasco

In this engaging inquiry, originally published in 1989 and now fully updated for the twenty-first century, Warren J. Belasco considers the rise of the "countercuisine" in the 1960s, the subsequent success of mainstream businesses in turning granola, herbal tea, and other "revolutionary" foodstuffs into profitable products; the popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets; and the increasing availability of organic foods.

From reviews of the previous edition:

"Although Red Zinger never became our national drink, food and eating changed in America as a result of the social revolution of the 1960s. According to Warren Belasco, there was political ferment at the dinner table as well as in the streets. In this lively and intelligent mixture of narrative history and cultural analysis, Belasco argues that middle-class America eats differently today than in the 1950 because of the way the counterculture raised the national consciousness about food."—Joan Jacobs Brumberg, The Nation

"This book documents not only how cultural rebels created a new set of foodways, brown rice and all, but also how American capitalists commercialized these innovations to their own economic advantage. Along the way, the author discusses the significant relationship between the rise of a 'countercuisine' and feminism, environmentalism, organic agriculture, health consciousness, the popularity of ethnic cuisine, radical economic theory, granola bars, and Natural Lite Beer. Never has history been such a good read!"—The Digest: A Review for the Interdisciplinary Study of Food

"Now comes an examination of . . . the sweeping change in American eating habits ushered in by hippiedom in rebellion against middle-class America. . . . Appetite for Change tells how the food industry co-opted the health-food craze, discussing such hip capitalists as the founder of Celestial Seasonings teas; the rise of health-food cookbooks; how ethnic cuisine came to enjoy new popularity; and how watchdog agencies like the FDA served, arguably, more often as sleeping dogs than as vigilant ones."—Publishers Weekly

"A challenging and sparkling book. . . . In Belasco's analysis, the ideology of an alternative cuisine was the most radical thrust of the entire counterculture and the one carrying the most realistic and urgently necessary blueprint for structural social change."—Food and Foodways

"Here is meat, or perhaps miso, for those who want an overview of the social and economic forces behind the changes in our food supply. . . . This is a thought-provoking and pioneering examination of recent events that are still very much part of the present."—Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter

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Aristotle and Other Platonists

Lloyd P. Gerson

"Aristotle versus Plato. For a long time that is the angle from which the tale has been told, in textbooks on the history of philosophy and to university students. Aristotle's philosophy, so the story goes, was au fond in opposition to Plato's. But it was not always thus."—from the Introduction In a wide-ranging book likely to cause controversy, Lloyd P. Gerson sets out the case for the "harmony" of Platonism and Aristotelianism, the standard view in late antiquity. He aims to show that the twentieth-century view that Aristotle started out as a Platonist and ended up as an anti-Platonist is seriously flawed. Gerson examines the Neoplatonic commentators on Aristotle based on their principle of harmony. In considering ancient studies of Aristotle's Categories, Physics, De Anima, Metaphysics, and Nicomachean Ethics, the author shows how the principle of harmony allows us to understand numerous texts that otherwise appear intractable. Gerson also explains how these "esoteric" treatises can be seen not to conflict with the early "exoteric" and admittedly Platonic dialogues of Aristotle. Aristotle and Other Platonists concludes with an assessment of some of the philosophical results of acknowledging harmony.

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Armed State Building

Confronting State Failure, 1898-2012

by Paul D. Miller

Since 1898, the United States and the United Nations have deployed military force more than three dozen times in attempts to rebuild failed states. Currently there are more state-building campaigns in progress than at any time in the past century—including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Sudan, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Lebanon—and the number of candidate nations for such campaigns in the future is substantial. Even with a broad definition of success, earlier campaigns failed more than half the time. In this book, Paul D. Miller brings his decade in the U.S. military, intelligence community, and policy worlds to bear on the question of what causes armed, international state-building campaigns by liberal powers to succeed or fail.

The United States successfully rebuilt the West German and Japanese states after World War II but failed to build a functioning state in South Vietnam. After the Cold War the United Nations oversaw relatively successful campaigns to restore order, hold elections, and organize post-conflict reconstruction in Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, but those successes were overshadowed by catastrophes in Angola, Liberia, and Somalia. The recent effort in Iraq and the ongoing one in Afghanistan—where Miller had firsthand military, intelligence, and policymaking experience—are yielding mixed results, despite the high levels of resources dedicated and the long duration of the missions there. Miller outlines different types of state failure, analyzes various levels of intervention that liberal states have tried in the state-building process, and distinguishes among the various failures and successes those efforts have provoked.

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Artifice and Design

Art and Technology in Human Experience

"As familiar and widely appreciated works of modern technology, bridges are a good place to study the relationship between the aesthetic and the technical. Fully engaged technical design is at once aesthetic and structural. In the best work (the best design, the most well made), the look and feel of a device (its aesthetic, perceptual interface) is as important a part of the design problem as its mechanism (the interface of parts and systems). We have no idea how to make something that is merely efficient, a rational instrument blindly indifferent to how it appears. No engineer can design such a thing and none has ever been built."-from Artifice and Design

In an intriguing book about the aesthetics of technological objects and the relationship between technical and artistic accomplishment, Barry Allen develops the philosophical implications of a series of interrelated concepts-knowledge, artifact, design, tool, art, and technology-and uses them to explore parallel questions about artistry in technology and technics in art. This may be seen at the heart of Artifice and Design in Allen's discussion of seven bridges: he focuses at length on two New York bridges-the Hell Gate Bridge and the Bayonne Bridge-and makes use of original sources for insight into the designers' ideas about the aesthetic dimensions of their work. Allen starts from the conviction that art and technology must be treated together, as two aspects of a common, technical human nature.

The topics covered in Artifice and Design are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, drawing from evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and the history and anthropology of art and technology. The book concludes that it is a mistake to think of art as something subjective, or as an arbitrary social representation, and of Technology as an instrumental form of purposive rationality. "By segregating art and technology," Allen writes, "we divide ourselves against ourselves, casting up self-made obstacles to the ingenuity of art and technology."

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Artillery of Heaven

American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East

by Ussama Makdisi

The complex relationship between America and the Arab world goes back further than most people realize. In Artillery of Heaven, Ussama Makdisi presents a foundational American encounter with the Arab world that occurred in the nineteenth century, shortly after the arrival of the first American Protestant missionaries in the Middle East. He tells the dramatic tale of the conversion and death of As’ad Shidyaq, the earliest Arab convert to American Protestantism. The struggle over this man's body and soul-and over how his story might be told-changed the actors and cultures on both sides.

In the unfamiliar, multireligious landscape of the Middle East, American missionaries at first conflated Arabs with Native Americans and American culture with an uncompromising evangelical Christianity. In turn, their Christian and Muslim opponents in the Ottoman Empire condemned the missionaries as malevolent intruders. Yet during the ensuing confrontation within and across cultures an unanticipated spirit of toleration was born that cannot be credited to either Americans or Arabs alone. Makdisi provides a genuinely transnational narrative for this new, liberal awakening in the Middle East, and the challenges that beset it.

By exploring missed opportunities for cultural understanding, by retrieving unused historical evidence, and by juxtaposing for the first time Arab perspectives and archives with American ones, this book counters a notion of an inevitable clash of civilizations and thus reshapes our view of the history of America in the Arab world.

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Asia's Flying Geese

How Regionalization Shapes Japan

by Walter F. Hatch

In Asia's Flying Geese, Walter F. Hatch tackles the puzzle of Japan's paradoxically slow change during the economic crisis it faced in the 1990s. Why didn't the purportedly unstoppable pressures of globalization force a rapid and radical shift in Japan's business model? In a book with lessons for the larger debate about globalization and its impact on national economies, Hatch shows how Japanese political and economic elites delayed-but could not in the end forestall-the transformation of their distinctive brand of capitalism by trying to extend it to the rest of Asia.

For most of the 1990s, the region grew rapidly as an increasingly integrated but hierarchical group of economies. Japanese diplomats and economists came to call them "flying geese." The "lead goose" or most developed economy, Japan, supplied the capital, technology, and even developmental norms to second-tier "geese" such as Singapore and South Korea, which themselves traded with Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and so on down the V-shaped line to Indonesia and coastal China. Japan's model of capitalism, which Hatch calls "relationalism," was thus fortified, even as it became increasingly outdated. Japanese elites enjoyed enormous benefits from their leadership in the region as long as the flock found ready markets for their products in the West.

The decade following the collapse of Japan's real estate and stock markets would, however, see two developments that ultimately eroded the country's economic dominance. The Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s destabilized many of the surrounding economies upon which Japan had in some measure depended, and the People's Republic of China gained new prominence on the global scene as an economic dynamo. These changes, Hatch concludes, have forced real transformation in Japan's corporate governance, its domestic politics, and in its ongoing relations with its neighbors.

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Asian Designs

Governance in the Contemporary World Order

by Saadia Pekkanen

Asian nations are no longer "rising" powers in the world order; they have risen. How will they conduct themselves in world politics? How will they deploy their considerable and growing power individually and collectively? These questions are critical for global governance. Conventional wisdom claims that, lacking in institutions that accumulate and coordinate the massive economic and growing military strength of Asian nations, the Asian region will continue to punch below its weight in world politics; thin and patchy institutionalization results in political weakness. In Asian Designs, Saadia M. Pekkanen and her collaborators question and provide evidence on these core assumptions of Western scholarship. The book advances a new framework for debate and sophisticated examinations of institutional arrangements for several major issue areas in the world order—security, trade, environment, and public health.

Contributors
Vinod K. Aggarwal, University of California at Berkeley
C. Randall Henning, American University
Keisuke Iida, University of Tokyo
Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide
David Kang, University of Southern California
Saori N. Katada, University of Southern California
Min Gyo Koo, Seoul National University
Kerstin Lukner, University of Duisburg-Essen
Takamichi Tam Mito, Kwansei Gakuin University
James Clay Moltz, Naval Postgraduate School
Saadia M. Pekkanen, University of Washington
Kim DoHyang Reimann, Georgia State University
Kellee S. Tsai, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Ming Wan, George Mason University

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At Home with the Diplomats

Inside a European Foreign Ministry

Iver B. Neumann

The 2010 WikiLeaks release of 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables has made it eminently clear that there is a vast gulf between the public face of diplomacy and the opinions and actions that take place behind embassy doors. In At Home with the Diplomats, Iver B. Neumann offers unprecedented access to the inner workings of a foreign ministry. Neumann worked for several years at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he had an up-close view of how diplomats conduct their business and how they perceive their own practices. In this book he shows us how diplomacy is conducted on a day-to-day basis.

Approaching contemporary diplomacy from an anthropological perspective, Neumann examines the various aspects of diplomatic work and practice, including immunity, permanent representation, diplomatic sociability, accreditation, and issues of gender equality. Neumann shows that the diplomat working abroad and the diplomat at home are engaged in two different modes of knowledge production. Diplomats in the field focus primarily on gathering and processing information. In contrast, the diplomat based in his or her home capital is caught up in the seemingly endless production of texts: reports, speeches, position papers, and the like. Neumann leaves the reader with a keen sense of the practices of diplomacy: relations with foreign ministries, mediating between other people's positions while integrating personal and professional into a cohesive whole, adherence to compulsory routines and agendas, and, above all, the generation of knowledge. Yet even as they come to master such quotidian tasks, diplomats are regularly called upon to do exceptional things, such as negotiating peace.

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