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Essays from a Farmer Philosopher
Theologian, academic, and third-generation organic farmer Frederick L. Kirschenmann is a celebrated agricultural thinker. In the last thirty years he has tirelessly promoted the principles of sustainability and has become a legend in his own right. Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher documents Kirschenmann’s evolution and his lifelong contributions to the new agrarianism in a collection of his greatest writings on farming, philosophy, and sustainability. Working closely with agricultural economist and editor Constance L. Falk, Kirschenmann recounts his intellectual and spiritual journey. In a unique blend of personal history, philosophical discourse, spiritual ruminations, and practical advice, Kirschenmann interweaves his insights with discussion of contemporary agrarian topics. This collection serves as an invaluable resource to agrarian scholars and introduces readers to an agricultural pioneer whose work has profoundly influenced modern thinking about food.
The Expansion of Slavery in Georgia, 1750-1860
From the eighteenth century to the eve of the Civil War, Georgia’s racial order shifted from the somewhat fluid conception of race prevalent in the colonial era to the harsher understanding of racial difference prevalent in the antebellum era. In Cultivating Race: The Expansion of Slavery in Georgia, 1750–1860, Watson W. Jennison explores the centrality of race in the development of Georgia, arguing that long-term structural and demographic changes account for this transformation. Jennison traces the rise of rice cultivation and the plantation complex in low country Georgia in the mid-eighteenth century and charts the spread of slavery into the up country in the decades that followed. Cultivating Race examines the “cultivation” of race on two levels: race as a concept and reality that was created, and race as a distinct social order that emerged because of the specifics of crop cultivation. Using a variety of primary documents including newspapers, diaries, correspondence, and plantation records, Jennison offers an in-depth examination of the evolution of racism and racial ideology in the lower South.
An American Life
" The embodiment of the American hero, the man of action, the pathfinder, Daniel Boone represents the great adventure of his age—the westward movement of the American people. Daniel Boone: An American Life brings together over thirty years of research in an extraordinary biography of the quintessential pioneer. Based on primary sources, the book depicts Boone through the eyes of those who knew him and within the historical contexts of his eighty-six years. The story of Daniel Boone offers new insights into the turbulent birth and growth of the nation and demonstrates why the frontier forms such a significant part of the American experience.
The Feuds of Eastern Kentucky
" Among the darkest corners of Kentucky’s past are the grisly feuds that tore apart the hills of Eastern Kentucky from the late nineteenth century until well into the twentieth. Now, from the tangled threads of conflicting testimony, John Ed Pearce, Kentucky’s best known journalist, weaves engrossing accounts of six of the most notorior accounts to uncover what really happened and why. His story of those days of darkness brings to light new evidence, questions commonly held beliefs about the feuds, and us and long-running feuds—those in Breathitt, Clay Harlan, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties. What caused the feuds that left Kentucky with its lingering reputation for violence? Who were the feudists, and what forces—social, political, financial—hurled them at each other? Did Big Jim Howard really kill Governor William Goebel? Did Joe Eversole die trying to protect small mountain landowners from ruthless Eastern mineral exploiters? Did the Hatfield-McCoy fight start over a hog? For years, Pearce has interviewed descendants of feuding families and examined skimpy court records and often fictional newspapeputs to rest some of the more popular legends.
Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878
No other region in America seems to be as burdened with stereotypes as Appalachia. Movies, television shows, books, and news media promote generalizations about the region, but what roles do viewers and readers play in perpetuating or challenging these stereotypes? Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 explores the responses of readers to best-selling fiction set in Appalachia. Emily Satterwhite employs an innovative new strategy, examining fan mail and reviews to understand how readers imagine the region and what purposes these imagined geographies serve for them. As she traces the changing visions of Appalachia across the decades, from the Gilded Age (1865–1895) to the present, Satterwhite finds that every generation, regardless of its historical circumstances, has produced an American audience hungry for a romantic version of Appalachia. By mapping fans according to geographical location, Satterwhite demonstrates that mobile white readers in particular (including regional elites) have idealized Appalachia as rooted, static, and protected from commercial society. For many, the region fulfills a sense of identity and belonging. Satterwhite warns of unintended consequences, including the potential to romanticize whiteness, reinforce white nationalism, and endorse problematic images of so-called primitives the world over. Investigating texts such as John Fox Jr.’s Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908), Harriet Arnow’s The Dollmaker (1954), James Dickey’s Deliverance (1970), and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain (1997), Dear Appalachia moves beyond traditional studies of regional fiction to document the functions of these narratives in the lives of readers, revealing not only what people think about Appalachia, but why.
Ethnicity, Facticity, and Genre
By affirming the relativity of the American historical imagination, political theorist Michael J. Shapiro offers a powerful polemic against ethnocentric interpretations of American culture and politics. Deforming American Political Thought analyzes issues that range from the nature of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an egalitarian nation to the persistence of racial inequality. Shapiro offers a multifaceted argument that transcends the myopic scope of traditional political discourse. Deforming American Political Thought illustrates the various ways in which history, architecture, film, music, literature, and art provide approaches to the comprehension of diverse facets of American political thought from the founding to the present. Using these seemingly disparate disciplines as a framework, Shapiro paints a picture of American political philosophy that is as distinctive as it enlightening. Shapiro explores the historically vital role of dissenting points of view in American politics and asserts its continuing importance in today’s political landscape. Exploring such diverse works as slave narratives, contemporary films, genre fiction, and blues and jazz music, Shapiro reveals that there have always been dissenting voices casting doubt on the moral purpose and exceptionalism of the American mind. An unprecedented inquiry into American politics, Deforming American Political Thought will surely serve to reinvigorate discussions about the essence of American political thought.
A Wilson Carey McWilliams Reader
In 1973, Wilson Carey McWilliams (1933–2005) published The Idea of Fraternity in America, a groundbreaking book that argued for an alternative to America’s dominant philosophy of liberalism. This alternative tradition emphasized that community and fraternal bonds were as vital to the process of maintaining political liberty as was individual liberty. McWilliams expanded on this idea throughout his prolific career as a teacher, writer, and activist, promoting a unique definition of American democracy. In The Democratic Soul: A Wilson Carey McWilliams Reader, editors Patrick J. Deneen and Susan J. McWilliams, daughter of the famed intellectual, have assembled key essays, articles, reviews, and lectures that trace McWilliams’s evolution as a scholar and explain his often controversial views on education, religion, and literature. The book also showcases his thoughts and opinions on prominent twentieth-century figures such as George Orwell and Leo Strauss. The first comprehensive volume of Wilson Carey McWilliams’ collected writings, The Democratic Soul will be welcomed by scholars of political science and American political thought as a long-overdue contribution to the field.
" In 1941 Berek Jakubowicz (now Benjamin Jacobs) was deported from his Polish village and remained a prisoner of the Reich until the final days of the war. His possession of a few dental tools and rudimentary skills saved his life. Jacobs helped assemble V1 and V2 rockets in Buchenwald and Dora-Mittelbau; spent a year and a half in Auschwitz, where he was forced to remove gold teeth from corpses; and survived the RAF attack on three ocean liners turned prison camps in the Bay of Lubeck. This is his story.
In the second half of the twentieth century, American conservatism emerged from the shadow of New Deal liberalism and developed into a movement exerting considerable influence on the formulation and execution of public policy in the United States. During that period, the political philosophers who provided the intellectual foundations for the American conservative movement were John H. Hallowell, Eric Voegelin, Leo Strauss, Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, John Courtney Murray, Friedrich Hayek, and Willmoore Kendall. By offering a comprehensive analysis of their thoughts and beliefs, The Dilemmas of American Conservatism both illuminates the American conservative imagination and reveals its most serious contradictions. The contributing authors question whether a core set of conservative principles can be determined based on the frequently diverging perspectives of these key philosophers.
The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson
Some of the most beloved characters in film and television inhabit two-dimensional worlds that spring from the fertile imaginations of talented animators. The movements, characterizations, and settings in the best animated films are as vivid as any live action film, and sometimes seem more alive than life itself. In this case, Hollywood’s marketing slogans are fitting; animated stories are frequently magical, leaving memories of happy endings in young and old alike. However, the fantasy lands animators create bear little resemblance to the conditions under which these artists work. Anonymous animators routinely toiled in dark, cramped working environments for long hours and low pay, especially at the emergence of the art form early in the twentieth century. In Drawing the Line, veteran animator Tom Sito chronicles the efforts of generations of working men and women artists who have struggled to create a stable standard of living that is as secure as the worlds their characters inhabit. The former president of America’s largest animation union, Sito offers a unique insider’s account of animators’ struggles with legendary studio kingpins such as Jack Warner and Walt Disney, and their more recent battles with Michael Eisner and other Hollywood players. Based on numerous archival documents, personal interviews, and his own experiences, Sito’s history of animation unions is both carefully analytical and deeply personal. Drawing the Line stands as a vital corrective to this field of Hollywood history and is an important look at the animation industry’s past, present, and future. Like most elements of the modern commercial media system, animation is rapidly being changed by the forces of globalization and technological innovation. Yet even as pixels replace pencils and bytes replace paints, the working relationship between employer and employee essentially remains the same. In Drawing the Line, Sito challenges the next wave of animators to heed the lessons of their predecessors by organizing and acting collectively to fight against the enormous pressures of the marketplace for their class interests—and for the betterment of their art form.